Activism, Education, Environment, Politics, recent

Teenage Climate-Change Protestors Have No Idea What They’re Protesting

The Extinction Rebellion, which is the umbrella term for Britain’s most recent large-scale climate-change protests, is said to have disrupted the travel of over 500,000 people, as well as cost London businesses £12-million per day. Before that, the Youth for Climate strikes, ignited by Swedish teenager Greta Thurnberg and tacitly supported by the U.K. Government, pulled north of 1.4-million students into the streets on a school day. Given the magnitude of these protests, one might hope that the protestors understood what they were protesting. Regrettably, this isn’t the case. Global-warming research is a hugely complex field, and it’s unlikely that any ordinary person—let alone a minor—would have any real grasp of it. Nor would they be able to appreciate the uncertainty that characterizes our understanding of how today’s human activity will affect the future state of the earth’s climate.

As a teenager, I fully understand the mindset of young people. We’re predisposed to leap before we look. This is borne out by neuroscience. Our prefrontal cortices, which regulate (among other things) decision-making, planning, self-awareness and inhibition, do not fully develop until we are in our mid-20s. Until then, we have difficulty analyzing the long-term consequences of our actions. The upshot is that many young people tend toward reckless behaviour. Our decisions tend to be rooted not in scientific analysis but in emotional reaction; and we tend to see protest not as a tool for social or legislative change, but simply as a chance to upset the status quo. This is especially true of the Youth for Climate movement, which first took inspiration from Thunberg, a student who is now 16 years old. The low level of sophistication on display at such gatherings is such that many participants seemingly would be fine with laws than banned flying, driving, gas boilers or even cows.

Indeed, such protests often are presented to young people as social events. If there is a guarantee that you, as a young person, will be stuffed into a public place for a good few hours with a group of your peers, and given social licence to vent at great volume, why not just go and cause some trouble? The spectacle of state-sponsored educational bodies encouraging children to attend climate protests compounds the problem further, as it essentially shifts the cost of the missed lessons onto the taxpayer.

If schools truly did want to encourage their students to engage productively with the climate-change issue, they should simply expose children to a full range of relevant literature. But this would not be nearly as exciting as street protest. Moreover, some of the ambiguities in the literature might even give students grounds for pause.

It cannot be denied that the world is heating up. And most scientists agree that human activity plays a large part. But ultimately, theories of anthropogenic climate change rest on the correlation between atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations and observed planetary warming (as well as other macro variables). And while many of the mechanisms are well-studied and understood, correlation is not causality. And so there remains a possibility that our vast efforts to control global warming may cause unintended—and undesired—consequences.

In any case, the vast majority of the literature requires that readers possess a background in environmental science, statistics, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. Some forms of lay literature do present the available science in an accessible way. But their presentation of the science is affected by partisan considerations. Left-leaning media outlets see an opportunity to exaggerate a threat to the safety of the human race, the solutions to which would serve to cripple capitalism through regulation and voluntary de-industrialization. On the other side of the coin, right-wing media outlets, seeing the issue from the opposite point of view, prioritize climate-change skeptics (or even deniers).

My own view is that it is quite possible that global warming is caused by humans; and, if so, we need to do something about it. But given the inconclusive state of contemporary climate science, we can’t be sure; and, until we absolutely do know the truth, we should hold off on drastic action. Encouraging mobs of young people to join the climate-protest movement only adds a spirit of social panic to an issue that already is extremely tangled.

Next time you see a clutch of young climate protestors out and about, whether they’re gluing themselves to subways, punting pink boats into the middle of busy intersections, or screaming obscenities at the Prime Minister, ask yourself whether they really know the first thing about the future of the planet. The answer, in almost all cases, will be no.


Felix Kirkby is a 16-year-old English schoolboy. He’s particularly interested in the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and politics.

Featured image: Greta Thunberg and other climate activists attend a protest in Berlin on March 29, 2019. 


  1. Jean Poule says

    When planet-saving teenagers have had enough of skipping school to harangue the middle-aged and want to get serious here are some suggestions:
    1. Go vegan
    2. Never own a dog or other meat-eating pet
    3. Never own a car
    4. Never fly
    5. Get sterilized

    • S Snell says

      @Jean Poule

      With special emphasis on point #5.

      • Farris says

        @S Snell

        Disagree with #5. That would deny these kids the opportunity of watching their kids rebel against the crap in which they believe.

        • Royce Cooliage says

          @Farris I think you just confirmed one of my suspicions about conservative opposition to climate change activism. Conservatives are generally offended by any form of protest because they equate protest with disrespect for authority.

          The fact of the matter is that the climate is changing and it threatens our livelihoods. Extreme weather-related disasters and flooding will continue to be an issue regardless of what one believes. Does it really make sense to stick your head in the sand and pretend it’s not real just because you think protesters are obnoxious?

          • Farris says

            @Royce C.

            Wow I must give you credit. You certainly can extrapolate a lot out of a modest attempt at humor.

            But sense you mentioned it, the authoritarians who attempt to dictate how homes should be heated, what food is appropriate, what type of shelter people are permitted to have, as they jet to and from their mansions concern me most.

            “The fact of the matter is that the climate is changing and it threatens our livelihoods.”

            Prove it don’t parrot it.

            By the way your ability to extrapolate an over concern for disrespect for authority confirms my suspicions that climate alarmists fear gloom and doom from the most modest of statements. Is worse to be an ostrich with its head in the sand or chicken little full of irrational fears?

          • Craig Willms says

            It’s foolish to assume today’s weather is any worse than weather that came before. Who is to say the 20th and 21st century reveals the ideal climate for Earth. You have no idea and neither do I. Statistically you are flat wrong. Today’s weather – tornadoes, floods, hurricanes are no worse than they have been for centuries.Please stop the scare mongering.

          • To steelman this, I’d say it’s a disrespect to the life experience gained through maturity. And I’m nothing if not painfully environmentally conscious (anybody else here not own a car?) but these kids clearly don’t anticipate being in the same position as their parents in a few short years. Tethered to electronics, driving everywhere, depending on animal proteins, rolling their eyes at their own kids’ presumed superior morality and intelligence, etc. They think they’re special, and the overwhelming likelihood is that they’re not. 99.9% will jump ship when taking a stand is an actual challenge rather than a holiday. I know because I pass literally nobody on my 4-mile round trip commute on foot. Except people waiting 45 minutes for a bus to come shuttle them nine blocks.

          • Jayden Lewis says

            Ummmm, the fact of the matter is that you have zero evidence that weather is getting “more extreme”.

            But hey, thank you for posting on a device that is made with, transported to you by and powered by fossil fuels.

          • Jay Salhi says

            “The fact of the matter is that the climate is changing and it threatens our livelihoods.”

            How exactly? Take away fossil fuels and then you will see livelihoods destroyed.

            Extreme weather related disasters have always been an issue. Mother nature has never been a friend to human beings. We use technology powered by fossil fuels to protect ourselves from such disasters.

          • Stick head in sand no. Equally, protest about vast and complex system about which human beings can do next to zero about is pointless waste of everyone’s time and energy – no.

            Not even climate scientists beyond the trite evaluations of the mainstream media have any real clue despite the myth of 97% bandied about. What we do know is the climate is changing, very likely as part of a natural cycle, through both warming in some parts of the world and cooling in others.

            But in terms of cap and trade and the corporatism /banking interests that go with it then it’s no wonder that they are encouraging such angstivism. The leveraged emotions of the well-intentioned crowd has enormous emotional capital and behooves environmentalists and layman alike to understand that any movement and ideology can be co-opted to serve elite interests.

            I think we need to ditch the idea that conservative mindset auotmatically equals the fossil fuel lobby and government sychophancy (though it can and does) and that the left-liberal, socially conscious mind = ideologically driven anthropogenic climate change and the emotional blindness to all other data which is deemed evil (though it can and does).

            There is a middle ground (though very hard to hold onto in the face of tribal hysteria of being offended by everything. But it comes from appraising both poles from the viewpoint of official culture – as it is. Namely, any mass movement for change, if it is in line with elite interests predicated on money = war = weapons = economic warfare = transnational corporate plunder – will be subverted. This isn’t conspiracy thinking it’s simply how the world works. Until we get educated about this, no amount of protesting is going to mean a hill a beans. Ultimately, it means studying psychology, in particular how psychopathy manifests in hierarchical systems and infects good intentions over and over.

            My point is, what will be truly effective?

            Activism on prenvetative measure for things we can change such as rainforest destruction, criminal economic warfare, conservation initiatives, GMO etc, corruption in our electoral – local and national – these are far more productive.

            Bjorn Lomborg has some practical suggestions on this point and there are increasingly more people who are trying to see through the dead end of trying to get governments to do anything other than maintain the status quo. And you often do that by encouraging what you know are ativities and initiatives that will go nowhere. But it’s great PR.

            Having worked in conservation and environmental movements for over 20 years, I can safely say that many of these folks are the most militant people on the planet. Many are also the most well-intentioned and kind. Which unfortunately predisposes them to ignore the reality that tends to counter to idealism. It’s a real achilles heel. Again, you one has to know the “shadow” in oneself and how that operates in the external world in order to find proper solutions. Otherwise, you’re just adding to the chaos.

            I think we have to concentrate locally and avoid getting caught up in largescale movements and initiatives which are usually distorted and infiltrated by those who have no wish at all to improve our environment. Rather, they already know what’s coming down the pipeline and which to make sure that they remain at the top of the pile when catastrophe hits. This is the story of history from the perspective or war and of environmental changes.

            I do wonder how many of these extinction rebellion protestors have actually initiated tangible and workable solutions within their community and at the local level. Very few I suspect. Instead – as it often appears to be – merely letting off steam that naturally goes nowhere.

            Anyhow, a good article from a young man who has his head screwed on. Maybe that’s cause for hope.

          • designer says

            What the human condition even likes less than sticking the head in the sand is the feeling of being powerless, of not being able to do something against their angst. To avoid this unbearable stress some call for the gods and others go for blind activism. They know it will not help, but at least they have tried. This is especially true for politicians and their reelection. (Btw. I think CO2 has no to little effect on climate change)

          • Teressa says

            Most conservatives are constitutionalist. They support the right to free speech and protest. What most do not like, and understand, is the goal of the left to use kids to push their agenda, indoctrinating them, not with thoughtful and objective information, but playing off the empathy of the public seeing “concerned kids” and the emotional state of young people. The left doesnt want an intellectual debate about the facts of climate change, they want to get mass amounts of people “feeling” a certain way about it, knowing most will not do their own research. That is a far cry from not wanting someone to protest, and understanding that their protest is based on shady information at best, and the propensity for the left leaning government to use kids as pawns in their agenda.

          • Flooding can be a problem because sea level is rising 3 mm per year, or about 30 cm per century. Extreme weather isn’t worse, nor do we have indications that’s going to be so. Belief that global warming is causing unusual disasters is caused by propaganda.

          • Gibson says

            Just think back when you were 16 or 18 years old. Maybe you were a child prodigy who could absorb science books, and understand them, at a super human rate, like a Savant. Maybe these kids are all like that and have a vast knowledge of engineering & science. I kinda doubt it, but for some bizarre reason, the world is suppose to look a them as heroes and brave. In reality, it’s fun to be in a group and get a day off school and let off some steam.

        • Echo Alpha Kilo says

          Well said. Parenthood is nature’s way of getting even with the next generation for all the flack they caused their parents!

    • E. Olson says

      No phone, no lights, no motor car,
      Not a single luxury,
      Like Robinson Crusoe,
      It’s primitive as can be.

      • David of Kirkland says

        Alternative fuels, wiser agriculture, less dumping of garbage and plastics and pesticides and herbicides and drugs into our water and air do not require such absurdities.
        Pretending that the science is unsettled in terms of primary causes suggests childlike thinking.

        • Nobody Important says

          Those are all policy prescriptions outside the scope of science.

        • Jean Levant says

          David, I disagree with you on the point of alternative fuels. Why in the world would you swap an ideal source of energy for a less efficient one and certainly more dangerous (just think to the poor Elon and his explosive Teslas by instance to figure out the real problem of the future giantic batteries which is needed so that alternative energies can be a real substitution to oil and gas). Now and at least for some decades to come (don’t believe the peakoil-mongers, they had wrong so many times I can’t count) we have oil which is one of the seven wonders of the universe (I don’t know all of the other six). What a perfect compromise between practicality and power! I like and admire nuclear technology too but its uses are, and should be, far more limited. Plastic is a great thing by the way. CO2 is good not evil. Oh, I know : there are some inconvenients. But you see, there are inconvenients in every technology : all the question is in the risk-benefit balance. Finally, I think it would be absolutely foolish to do without such a perfect gift from heaven (or our mother Earth) as long as we can have : let us not swap a proven and efficient technology for some sloppy devices.
          To be sure, we have to research for other sources and efficient technologies but we don’t run out of time or gas (or coal).

          • Robby R says

            My ‘correct’ comment above was in agreement with David of Kirkland’s comment. I didn’t realize Quilette’s comment board didn’t nest replies in thread.

          • Robby R says

            It would be nice if Quilette’s comment software allowed editing & deletion of posts… is there some way to do either?

        • Teressa says

          It actually is unsettled and someone who has done the research and knows what both sides are saying would know that. What you feel might be the case and what is are two different things.

        • Astrogeodoc says

          Childlike is exactly the level of thinking that the radical conservatives are engaged in on climate change and other environmental concerns. Having grown up as what used to be called a Rockefeller Republican (social liberal, fiscal conservative, to those of you who may not be familiar with the term), I am dismayed at the thought that Liberals are now the adults in our political room, and that Conservatives have dissolved into a pool of fear and ignorance, but there it is.

        • Gibson says

          I suspect when you say “alternative fuel” you mean “alternative energy”. There is a big difference since the word fuel is a physical substance that when reacts with another substance it creates heat energy. Agreed that solid waste is a problem, as well as dioxins emitted into the air and water are the real pollution problems that need addressing further. But your misuse, and misunderstanding, of terminology is becoming all too common in this discussion, which leads to misinformation.

      • S Snell says

        @ E. Olson

        Your reference to Gilligan’s Island raises a most important question: Ginger or Maryanne?

        • E. Olson says

          SS – don’t you know there was no sex on Gilligan’s Island ? Clearly they were way ahead of their time in promoting zero or negative population growth. I wonder if the island is now under water what with the rapidly rising oceans and all.

        • Arche Lasalles says

          Or maybe more Gilligan,Skipper, or Prof?

        • @ S Snell

          “Your reference to Gilligan’s Island raises a most important question: Ginger or Maryanne?”


          Not a difficult question, but what the heck, be a cad, go both. It’s just too bad there’s all those other pesky men around.

      • Cedric says


        Nice Weird Al reference. My 9-year-old son loves that song almost as much as I do.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @E. Olson

        It’s interesting that Ginger never ran out of hairspray.

      • Jim Gorman says

        No Underarmor, no dry fit, no polyester, no rayon, no plastic water bottles, no plastic at all, no food supplies delivered from afar. Only root cellars and locally grown, in season vegetables. And, on and on and on!

    • Zaru says

      And migrate to a lesser-developed country where people use far fewer resources.

      • E. Olson says

        Joe – couldn’t you have told me before I had my meat free bean dinner?

        Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot.
        The more you toot the happier you feel, so eat some beans with every meal.

    • Thurnberg allegedly took on #1 and #4. But it’s worth noting that she naturally suffers dietary constraints, and would probably not need to fly were she not in demand for appearances (I also hear Europe has a good railway system). And it’s a problem that she says things like, “I want you to panic.” Panic is never good, people should be sufficiently concerned, that’s the proper way to phrase it. But it’s not as exciting, and excitement seems to be the real draw here. Excellent point by the author that an adult response would be a day where schools actually focus on the topic, instead of increasing ignorance via truancy. FFS you can’t make this stuff up.

    • Hans Meier says

      and stop streaming and snapchatting the whole day long

    • Stephen Sinnott says

      Good start, however the zero is in there.

    • David McCobb says

      When I was 16 no one listened to me and looking back at the things I was saying I’m rather glad they didn’t. Both. In my ipinion and from the masses of scientific information and climate specialists I have read and listened to both Thunberg and Kurby are wrong.
      But Kirby is at least prepared to have the debate about it. The Climate Zealots have shut down the debate.

    • PeterK says

      You forgot to mention that they forgo the use of any materials made from oil and natural gas

    • David Barnett says

      Everybody needs to watch Alan Savory’s TED talk on desertification. Unlike these kids, he KNOWS what he’s talking about and actually presents realistic and practical solutions.

  2. Joana George says

    “But ultimately, theories of anthropogenic climate change rest on the correlation between atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations and observed planetary warming (as well as other macro variables). ”

    Theories are indeed far from perfect or being complete, but they rest on physics not on correlation. It continues to baffle me that the correlation angle is the one most played when trying to sell climate change…

    • David of Kirkland says

      Because in this case, the correlation is due to causation. That phrase to deny science shows a lack of understanding because they are often true. Drop a bowling ball on your toes and we don’t have to wonder about whether they are just correlated or not. Dumping pollution into the air, land and water clearly has negative impacts, measurable and harmful.

      • stevengregg says

        If human pollution boils the planet, why was there a hiatus in climate temperature for twenty years when humans dumped 25% more CO2 in the atmosphere mostly in this century? For correlation to be causation, there needs to be correlation.

        • Andrew Mcguiness says

          “For correlation to be causation, there needs to be correlation.” Not necessarily – if A causes B, there could nevertheless be a third variable which also affects B and which doesn’t correlate with A.

        • “why was there a hiatus in climate temperature for twenty years when humans dumped 25% more CO2 in the atmosphere”

          Because human-caused CO2 is not the only thing affecting climate.

          “For correlation to be causation, there needs to be correlation.”

          Yes, but it does not need to be exact 1-to-1 correlation. Other factors can matter too.

          (E.g. it can be the case that smoking causes cancer, while still being true that genes and diet are also factors, so no 1-to-1 correlation with any one factor.)

          • Jackson Howard says

            No it’s a log relationship.

            The hiatus is fool’s gold, only take as the real deal by those to stupid to see the cherry picking present in all those “hiatus” plots that occurred in the last 20 years. Pick a hot starting year and a cold end year, draw a line (hopefully close to flat if you did your job right) and voilà !

            Also aerosols are a negative forcing that are short lived (~5-10 years) compared to CO2 (1K yr)

            Rooting out missed correlations and forcings has pretty much been climate science work for decades now. Turns out that CO2 is a big knob and we are dialing it to the max. We are in the driver seat and going pedal to the metal.

            As for asking people to have backgrounds in atmospherics science and such to be able to contribute to the discussion, this is only the case if the discussion is about the science validity. But what we are speaking about here is climate policy and that does not require scientific expertise. In the EU only a slice (half) of the conservatives are still disputing the science and looking increasingly foolish by doing so.

            The problem of the left is that they are trying to use the real climate issues as a carrier for their pet policies. My fear is that if we don’t present a no-nonsense conservative approach to the problem, people will hop on their “solutions” while taking us for fools once that crap gets bad enough.

      • Angela says

        Nowhere is the author trying to deny climate change. In fact they explicitly dispute people who do. All theyre saying is the science is dramatically more complicated and nuanced than people who just read about it in news articles realize. There is no real dispute in the scientific community about climate change, but there is real debate about the specifics. There lies a spectrum of opinions from “we’re fucked in 20 years” to “we’re fucked in 200 years”.

        • Lightning Rose says

          The one answer I NEVER hear is, “We’re fucked and there’s nothing we can do about it, because it’s out of our control and always was.” People WANT to believe we control the weather. I personally find this hysterically funny, when it isn’t pathetic.

        • Shlo Mo says

          What the author is trying to do is irrelevant since aware or not he is propagating misinformation about the science. The connection between CO2 emissions and warming is completely causative. The greenhouse effect is based on fundamental thermodynamics and chemistry and is directly observed via radiative spectroscopy. The author argues that teenagers can have bad judgement but failed to see that the same can be applied to his own analysis.

      • ianl says

        CO2 is not a pollutant.

        Photosynthesis has evolved over several billion years and occurs 24/7. Without levels of CO2 above about 200ppm, this chemical reaction is starved of fuel. Apart from minor trace elements, in combination with water all life on earth is comprised of CO2.

        • Jim Gorman says

          ianl –> Great comment. Can anyone quote a study that says CO2 sinks, like more forests and more grasses that occur from additional CO2 won’t eventually suck up all the CO2 currently being added to the atmosphere? NASA has already announced that the earth is greening due to the additional CO2.

          • Jackson Howard says

            The greening effect from C02 can only happen if there is enough water and quality soil available.

            So far this is the case. But if droughts increase in length and intensity (likely) carbon sinks can turn into carbon sources.

            The effect is anyway too small to balance the losses of carbon sinks from rainforest deforestation.

            In short, it exists but it’s far from a dominant effect.

          • Shlo Mo says

            @Jim, there’s a very simple way to see if greening will outdo CO2 emissions, is CO2 increasing or decreasing?

        • Shlo Mo says

          @ianl – who exactly is advocating CO2 levels below 200 ppm? If an obese person is told to go on a diet do you protest that they’ll starve? Simply ignoring the negative effects of massive CO2 emissions does not allow you to prove CO2 is not a pollutant.

    • Ron S says

      Joana George –

      The theories of causality, to explain the correlation, are indeed based on physics.

      That doesn’t mean those theories can’t be partially in error – enough in error to undermine the argument for the extremely drastic responses proposed.

      The physics of climatology is extremely complex, and the relationships between, and the weight of, the many physical factors is far from fully understood.

      • Joana George says


        “That doesn’t mean those theories can’t be partially in error – enough in error to undermine the argument for the extremely drastic responses proposed.”

        I fully agree with you on that!

        My main issue is with framing. A physics argument is both harder to refute and harder to exaggerate. An argument based on correlation looks flashier, more “obvious” and potentially provides a better selling point for crap polices, but also falls apart a lot easier.

        I think that if this whole climate thing would have been framed from a physics perspective from the start, there would be more effort put into finding out the extent of the problem and less into overdramatizing the problem or denying it.

    • Jim Gorman says

      Want to show your knowledge rather than just quoting talking points? What was the temperature during the Holocene Optimum period? How did that happen without increased anthropogenic CO2?

      • Shlo Mo says

        @Jim Gorman – the global temperature during the Holocene Optimum was probably lower than now and was caused by Milankovich cycles. I doubt you understand anything about climatology if you think this presents a problem for AGW.

        • D-Rex says

          ‘the global temperature during the Holocene Optimum was probably lower than now’, what do you mean ‘probably’? Do you actually know what it was? Didn’t think so. It was certainly warmer than today.

        • Jim Gorman says

          I think your doubt may be displaced. I could quote several places but I’ll just use Wikipedia for now. “The Holocene Climate Optimum warm event consisted of increases of up to 4 °C near the North Pole (in one study, winter warming of 3 to 9 °C and summer of 2 to 6 °C in northern central Siberia).”

          Please notice the words “warm event” and “increase”. They are pertinent to your answer. Perhaps you’ll enlighten folks how you determined that temps were probably lower. Do you even know what the CO2 concentrations were during this warm period?

      • Joana George says

        Jim, I do not want to show my knowledge as I in no way think my knowledge is at a level for it to be relevant. I would like to use your question as a case study of why “showing knowledge” on this topic is rarely a good idea.

        Quick Wikipedia search, would answer your question with 4 degrees and Milankovitch cycles. Quick search in scientific literature, would force me to restrict my answer to a specific area. To mirror the 4 degrees from Wikipedia, given for the North Pole, I’d answer with ” Warmest-to-coldest millennium temperature change in the Holocene in Arctic Canada and Greenland is 3.0 ± 1.0 °C.”. This is one of the highlights of a 2016 review paper ( which looked at 91 different records. Each of the records has 1 of 4 possible sources (lake, ike, marine, peat), 1 of over 10 proxys (d180 ice, pollen, IP25, MS, alkenones, forams, dD, dinocysts, pollen flux, BSi, mineral content, diatoms, etc.) for 1 in over 5 climate variables (surface temperature, summer air temperature, effective anual moisture, anual air temperature, spring sea ice, etc.).

        I don’t even know what half of those proxys are, let alone understand the methodology used to extract the climate variables from them. Do you?

        The 15 authors analyzing all this weren’t even attempting to stretch their conclusions as far as explaining it in therm of anthropogenic CO2 or Milankovitch chains, They were just trying to show how it’s linked to the size of the Greenland ice sheet. Even for this tiny point in the full-picture climate change issue, they concluded:

        “One explicit goal of this synthesis is to
        compare climate reconstructions with the history of the GrIS. In
        this regard, we find that periods of positive LIS and GrIS mass
        balance in the early Holocene are consistent with climate reconstructions depicting cool conditions prior to maximum Holocene warmth. Furthermore, it is clear that the minimum GrIS extent
        was achieved around the time of transition from warm-to-cool
        conditions recorded at sites around Greenland, as one might
        expect. However, there are too few studies of GrIS ice margin history to recognize a pattern of change (e.g., north to south) that
        might coincide with the temperature trends identified in this

        This is part of the “correlation framing” of climate change. It’s ridiculously complex and thus prone to both error and undeserved critique. That is why I think discussions on this level are better left to the scientific community.

        The physics framing is much more straight forward. If you insist, I might “show my knowledge” in that area, but anybody is better off picking up an Environmental physics book (maybe along with a more generic Physics book) than listening to a random stranger on the internet.

  3. Petr Bauch says

    Science does not provide absolute certainty. It only gives you the most likely theory based on the current knowledge. The real question you should be asking is: what is the probability-weighted outcome of climate change? If human activity is causing it and we ignore it, the planet becomes uninhabitable (low probability). If human activity is not causing it but we still implement drastic changes to fix it, we may slow down the progress of our technological development (high probability).

    • zed says

      “Science does not provide absolute certainty. It only gives you the most likely theory based on the current knowledge”…gained after specific, idea-focused interpretations of the evidence as reasoned within strict adherence to prior belief.

      I fixed it.

    • David of Kirkland says

      Just like how the switch from burning wood to burning oil destroyed the economy and reduced the technological development of stoves.
      Confusing probabilities of scientific reasoning with your probabilities about outcomes defies scientific reason.

      • Ron S says

        David of Kirkland –

        The difference is that in the movement away from burning wood, the change happened gradually, as the alternatives became more economical.

        It didn’t happen in 10 or 20 years, forced by government mandating and subsidizing alternatives not yet ready to handle the load.

        • J. Brent says

          The move from fossil fuels would also prove economical provided governments implement a carbon tax.

          It’s simple economics: fossil fuel consumption comes with a negative externality. Without a carbon tax, the public bears the cost of that externality. Implement a tax to shift the burden to the consumer who decides whether to use fossil fuels or an alternative.

          This makes alternative energy the economical decision and allows the free market to guide progress.

          • The CO2 output from burning a liquid fuel like diesel oil or petrol is directly proportional to the volume or mass of the fuel. So all the existing per-gallon taxes are carbon taxes, and they are already grotesquely high in many countries.

          • Shamrock says

            It’s all well and good talking about switching from fossil fuels but what are the plans to get there other than more taxes? What alternative energy are you referring to? Electricity?

            If you want to switch to electric cars for example, the government has to plan for and build vastly more electricity generation and distribution infrastructure, much of which takes years.

            Nuclear power stations are one option but many countries don’t seem to want to go down this route. Wind and solar are not viable at this point in time to supply the enormous energy requirements if we all switched.

            We would also require tremendous resources, materially and financially, to replace the hundreds of millions of gasoline and diesel engine vehicles currently in use.

            I believe, and hope, we will eventually switch to electric vehicles, but it will take years to get there and much more has to be done other than simply imposing more taxes.

          • Ron S says

            J Brent –

            A carbon tax is likely to be an indirect subsidy by penalizing fossil fuel. If the carbon tax is high enough to bring quick change, it is functionally equivalent to a mandate.

            BTW, the significance of the fossil fuel externality is what is in dispute.

          • ianl says

            “Without a carbon tax, the public bears the cost of that externality”

            Then define the cost of this externality. Do not include CO2 as a pollutant, as it is not. An increase of 0.8C over 150 years in global temperature (as best it may be estimated) is a trivial externality.

          • Jim Gorman says

            JB –> All platitudes and no knowledge whatsoever. “The public bears the cost…” and “tax to shift the burden to the consumer…” Just how are the public and consumer not related? John Q. Public is going to pay one way or the other!

      • rickoxo says

        Oil is a more energy dense, easier to manage source of fuel than wood. So switching to oil was a step in the right direction. Solar power and wind are both incredibly low density energies (it takes huge amounts of space to generate the equivalent amount of energy as a natural gas power plant).

  4. E. Olson says

    Very impressive effort for a 16 year old, certainly more balanced and factual than 99% of the mainstream media coverage of AGW. Twice your life ago, NASA scientist James Hansen said that by the time you were born the world would for all intents be dead from man-made global warming unless drastic changes were made. Yet since that time the world now emits much more CO2 than in 1987, and yet we are still here and crops are growing better than ever, so you are scientifically and practically correct to be skeptical of climate science predictions.

    Thus there is uncertainty about climate models and predictions, but there is much less uncertainty about the cost of the solutions to climate change that you and your classmates should be even more concerned about. I expect you might like a future where you have a good job that pays well, and perhaps allows you to do some world travel, own a nice house, car and the latest smart phone, pay off your school loans and all the other things that adulthood brings that cost money. Well you can forget about most of these things if the AGW zealots get their way, because they want to shut down capitalism and democracy, which are the engines of economic growth, good jobs, and higher salaries that allow our modern lifestyles, and they don’t want most people to have these things because they generate more greenhouse gases. The zealots might tell you that renewables can solve all our problems, but don’t believe them because all the places in the world with the most solar and wind power also have the highest price electricity, high rates of energy poverty, and increasingly unreliable grids.

    And in their frustration at the world’s inaction in the face of climate change threats, many AGW zealots are increasingly putting all the blame on patriarchy and toxic masculinity – did you know that eating meat is a sign of patriarchy? So if you and your mates are going to the AGW protests in order to meet girls, be careful because they might turn the protests in your “toxic male” direction.

    • S Snell says

      @ E Olson

      Another spot-on comment replete with solid points.

      Those of us on the skeptical side have been all but shouting these arguments from the rooftops for year now, with practically zero effect. I have come to realize, though, that in this discussion, facts don’t matter.

      The zealots behind the climate Movement are bored to tears by actual data. Their primary motivation is the dopamine rush they get every time they confirm their bias with some end-is-near story, or shout down a “denier” with some shopworn talking point. They are addicted to the thrill of being part of a Cause. Facts, at least contrary facts, are buzzkill.

      Now of course, everyone is fixated on Greta Thunberg and the other young zealots, as though the urgency of their feelz were actually correlated with anything real. Well color me Very Concerned. Exclamation point! ALL CAPS!

      The young man who wrote this piece shows maturity and intelligence far beyond his years. This could have been written by a very sharp person twice his age.The sad irony is that his sober realism is likely to make him very unpopular with his peers.

      • E. Olson says

        SS – thank you and I agree with you. Our young author here is doomed if he goes into academia – such skepticism and realism have no home in today’s Ivory Towers.

    • Olson:

      “Twice your life ago, NASA scientist James Hansen said that by the time you were born the world would for all intents be dead from man-made global warming unless drastic changes were made.”

      Go on then, give the actual quote. Are you sure that’s what he said?

      • E. Olson says

        Coel – happy to oblige (quotes from the first link, temperature prediction in 2nd link):

        June 11, 1986, Dr. James Hansen of the Goddard Space Institute (NASA) in testimony to Congress (according to the Milwaukee Journal): “Hansen predicted global temperatures should be nearly 2 degrees higher in 20 years, ‘which is about the warmest the earth has been in the last 100,000 years.’” (prediction for 2006)

        In 1988 Rob Reiss asked official Climate Scientist Dr. James Hansen how the greenhouse effect was likely to affect the neighborhood below Hansen’s office in NYC in the next 20 years, whereupon Climate scientist James Hansen issues this prediction, to be fullfilled in 20 years, which is to say, doom by 2008: “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change….There will be more police cars….[since] you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.”

        • Olson — so no statement that “the world would for all intents be dead” then?

          • E. Olson says

            Coel – well Hansen did predict 2 degrees warmer by 2006, which is supposedly when everything goes to hell, and a river of water running down the West Side Highway by 2008 certainly wouldn’t be good.

          • N.I. says

            @Shlo Mo, does Olson’s misquote nullify Hansen’s blatantly incorrect prediction? Funny how you complain about cherry picking quotes or calling out inaccuracies then do not do so on Hansen’s.

        • Jay Salhi says

          One correction. Salon misreported the 2008 date. Hanson gave a 40 year prediction not a 20 year prediction but when Reiss recalled it for Salon circa 1999 he got the date wrong. He since corrected himself. So the West Side highway under water prediction was for 2028 not 2008.

          If makes little difference because we are 3/4 of the way to 2028 and Hansen’s prediction is clearly going to turn out to be wrong.

          Hansen also made predictions that the Arctic would be ice free and those dates have come and gone. Hansen is hardly alone. British kids won’t know what snow looks like. Duluth Minnesota won’t see temperatures below 10 degrees F. These are the predictions our climate prophets have been dishing out left and right for decades.

    • Lightning Rose says

      Let’s face it: No one, and I mean NO ONE, is actually going back to a pre-industrial lifestyle. It would be impossible at this point, unless your skill set includes chopping wood, carrying water from a manually-drawn hand-dug well, plucking chickens and sawing the head off and smoking your own pig. Not to mention if your garden crashes from a blight or untoward rainy season, well, Hell-OO you’re not going to eat. This is a non-starter. You don’t see Leo DiCaprio doing it, do you?

      98% of this crap is virtue-signaling to the socialist lunatic fringe. It’s literally a made-up problem. If you don’t believe me, why just search “Maurice Strong” and “Club of Rome.” It’s the made-up boogeyman invented to supplant the Soviet Union to unite the west after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

      Short summation of “The Science:” The Earth has been colder, and warmer, often quickly and to extremes, and no one now living is remotely capable of explaining the mechanisms behind each.
      The only things The Science shows to perfection is that (a) CO2 ain’t it and (b) all this went on long before Mankind could remotely have been a factor. In sum, we do not control the weather, and any attempt to do so is a fool’s errand for gullible “liberal” twats.

      OTOH, there are probably some very sensible, cost-effective MITIGATION efforts we can all get behind: Don’t keep rebuilding in known floodplains (DUH!), ditto river deltas, thin out the tinder-like brush in mostly dead forests to prevent wildfires (and don’t build in known fire zones), don’t keep rebuilding (with FEMA money!) on beaches that are historically at risk of being swept clean by hurricanes AND don’t invest in asinine 13th Century technologies (windmills!) when next-gen clean and safe Nuclear would solve your entire problem and could have done so 25 years ago.

      PLUS, don’t try and sell 1.5 degrees C. in 150 years as a bigger panic than the Book of Revelation. Because it makes you look like an ignorant asshole brainwashed by the latest iteration of Bolsheviks, and the weather has NOTHING to do with it.

      • Jim Gorman says

        LR –> Love your post, lol. Tell it like it is. Ask folks why Al Gore and other rich folks are buying properties next to the ocean if they are going to be underwater in 12 years!

        • Jay Salhi says

          My favorite example is the Maldives. In 1988, our climate prophets predicted the Malidves would be under water by 2018. Similar predictions have been made going back to the 19th century. Yet over the past two decades, the population of the Maldives has doubled and foreign direct investment has quadrupled. The Maldives has no trouble arranging international financing for multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects. Beach front property prices are exorbitant.

          In the real world, no one takes the doomsday predictions seriously. Least of all the people who earn their living jetting around the world lecturing the rest of us about the dangers.

      • E. Olson says

        LR – Sweden is covered with remote cabins, many of which are very primitive with no toilet (outhouse only), no heat besides a stove or fireplace, and in some cases no running water or electricity. I would love to send little Greta Thunberg and her Opera singer mother out to the most primitive and remote cabin in the country, and force them stay there for 1 year without smart phone, laptop, or any other modern gadgets and only enough canned food to last until her garden yields a crop. They would need to haul their own water from a stream, cut their own wood to make fires for heat and boiling water, plant and tend their own vegetable garden, gather berries and try to hunt for animals to eat (and skin and process them) and see how they feel about global warming and living without modern emission emitting conveniences if they survive the year. And if either dies they can at least know they won’t be emitting any more CO2 from breathing and other emission emitting activities, and the state of Sweden will save a ton of money on Greta’s medical expenses and special schools (and consequently more money to import more Muslim refugees) – so everyone wins.

        • dirk says

          Greta has no looks (and dress) as if she would miss electricity, tap water and a flush toilet, I’m almost sure she remembers the weeks or months in such a cabin as the happiest time in her life (at night, owl calls from the forest around, at day the song of many more birds and a casual fox or deer passing by, and fresh roasted fish from the lake). I say this for having lived like that for 2 years in the mountains in Peru (for work for a company). Of course, in the beginning you miss the luxury, but I can tell you, within no time you don’t know any better, the more so, because you are not the only one without such luxury (even the Austrian Emperor early 20th century had to do without)

          • E. Olson says

            Dirk – I suspect that Greta wouldn’t last 2 days without social media and being the center of attention. I also suspect that any cabin she has ever spent time in is one of the modern ones with refrigeration, microwave ovens, running water, heated floors, and broadband connections. In my experience and observation as someone who spend a lot of time in the forest, it is a rare woman or girl that likes roughing it for any period of time – especially if they are the ones that need to haul water and wood.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @E. Olson

      ” Well you can forget about most of these things if the AGW zealots get their way, because they want to shut down capitalism and democracy, which are the engines of economic growth, good jobs, and higher salaries that allow our modern lifestyles”

      Honesty is useful. The Correct, and especially their zealots, the Warriors, pretend that there are no differences between the races or the sexes because their political agenda requires that lie. But the Deniers pretend that there is no AGW because their political agenda — which in this case is almost entirely defensive — requires that lie (or so they think). It seems to me that the defensive lie is more forgivable, because, as to your quote above, you are trying to hold off a destructive, at the very least poorly thought out agenda. However you are doing it the wrong way IMHO.

      Abandoning science is a dangerous ploy. Saying ‘we have science on our side’ would seem to strengthen your case, but when that is shown to be false, you not only lose science, you lose credibility entirely. Would it not be a harder but surer strategy to freely admit that humans are at least partially responsible for GW but then dig your trenches on firmer ground, namely that the hysteria is likely overdone, the hidden agenda should be exposed (it should), that sober solutions are welcome, but eco-hippie nostrums and the kiddie’s crusade will do more harm than good … and so on.

      The reason I’m still a Believer is that I find the arguments of the Believers sober, nuanced, factual and honest. I find the Deniers personal, rude, and prone to an ‘attack of the mosquitoes’ sort of technique: ‘It was cooler in Patagonia this year!’ ‘What about alcohol evaporations from our beer, have you considered that!’ ‘Jim Henson once jaywalked, he’s not to be trusted!’ ‘In the 3d year of the Boboglocene is was hotter than now!’ ‘It’s all a Vast Conspiracy! NASA are lying to us!’ Frankly you people are embarrassing at times. The calmer and more restrained your arguments, the more likely you are to win me over. I remain cautious.

      • E. Olson says

        Ray – from my point of view it doesn’t matter if you believe in AGW or not, because mankind is incapable of doing anything to “solve” the problem if the “experts” are correct. Nobody is going to give up their jet holidays, SUVs, suburban McMansions (or urban highrises), big screen TVs, and all the other emission emitting elements of modern life, and certainly the AGW proponents and activists are not leading the way by example. Have you seen Al Gore’s houses? Are the rich and famous moving away from the coastlines and to higher ground? Are private jets becoming less popular (see link)? Not to mention the several billion people in the world today without electricity or toilets, are they supposed to just stay poor and in the dark?

        • Ray Andrews says

          @E. Olson

          Morning E:

          I take all your points. But if even major disruptions are in store (as opposed to our extinction in 12 years), then surely steps should be taken. Let’s not concede the agenda to the catastrophists by refusing to admit the problem, let’s make a case for doing something doable. The Chinese are. Yes, much of the world needs development, let’s get on that. Trouble ahead on many fronts. Humanity will survive on some level, but I’m not sure about civilization. But best to go down fighting:

          Then out spake brave Horatius;
          The captain of the gate
          “To every man upon this earth,
          death cometh soon or late,
          And how can man die better,
          Than facing fearful odds,
          for the ashes of his fathers,
          And the temples of his gods.”

          • Ray Andrews says

            @E. Olson

            Ok, but issues of the cost of various programs are entirely debatable and IMHO are entirely legitimate whereas Denial seems like mere obstruction. But the Chinese are taking steps, and they are not known for their detachment from reality. (It says something about the West that we now refer to China when we want to make a claim as to what the grown-ups think.) Surely much can be done that might even save money? Surely nuclear should be making a very strong comeback? Some of us in the West do consume too much for our own good, how about a return to quality over quantity? I myself think that the entire infinite growth paradigm is obsolete. It all needs sober consideration. Then there is the Andrews Cycle, but I don’t have the energy to make it happen, not to mention several billion dollars.

          • Jay Salhi says

            The idea that China is taking the lead on climate change is a complete joke. Some token investments in solar and wind, some real investments in nuclear but mainly building lots more coal plants, not just in China but throughout the developing world.

        • Jay Salhi says

          “Nobody is going to give up their jet holidays, SUVs, suburban McMansions (or urban highrises), big screen TVs, and all the other emission emitting elements of modern life,”

          I agree but focusing on luxuries may give the wrong impression that a little less extravagance will do the trick. Try giving up heat, electricity and food. Without fossil fuels, these things all become scarce. Every city in America depends on diesel powered trucks to bring in the food. Every farm depends on fossil fuel powered equipment and fossil fuel technology. Modern, industrial civilization runs on fossil fuels.

          Once people are made to understand the relationship between energy and modernity, everything the AGW activists have to say is noise.

          • E. Olson says

            Jay – who said that jet holidays, SUVs, McMansions, etc. are luxuries? I suspect many who own them or aspire to own them think they are near necessities. But you are right that without fossil fuels a lot of us would starve to death.

      • Jean Levant says

        I agree on your point in some extent but this : “The reason I’m still a Believer is that I find the arguments of the Believers sober, nuanced, factual and honest.” is bloody well dubious. I guess you mean Believer in the orthodox theory of AGW. But who the most rational and honest among AGW’s believers are? the sober, nuanced kind or the extremist kind? My answer is: the second kind. In several topics, rationality is not on the side of the center party if I may say. If you believe in the core arguments of the “settled” science of AGW, the numbers are definitive and the fate of the civilization is settled since it will be extraordinarily unlikely that wertern countries give up their high standard of living and still more unlikely that Chineses or Indians or other “emerging” countries abdicate their right to have a higher standard of living. And even if you can believe this almost impossible thing, the result will be the same since it means that all the western countries will have to stop greenhouse emissions altogether in a couple of decades (if not less), which in turn means a entire collapse of the western countries, and the others not long after you can be sure.
        The good news is, if I look at my german neighbors, that it doesn’t seem to go this way: they shut down a good part of their nuclear plants but only to open or reopen coal plants, which is certainly not the the right way to lower their greenhouse gas emissions, which doesn’t stop them to keep on babbling about CO2 print, renewables and so on. And they are the “ecologistest” of us all! Don’t worry too much, Ray.

      • Jay Salhi says

        “I find the arguments of the Believers sober, nuanced, factual and honest.”

        — The Maldives will be under water by 2018.
        — The arctic will be ice free by 2010.
        — Kids in Britain won’t know snow.
        — The West Side highway will be under water by 2028.
        — Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035
        — Climate change has made wet winters in CA a thing of the past so no need to worry about that dam overflowing
        –Duluth Minnesota won’t see temperatures below 10 degrees F
        — The Polar Bears will all starve to death
        — The ski industry is doomed because of AGW

        Yes, sober and nuanced indeed. And this is just a small sampling of failed predictions.

        • Jean Levant says

          Good remark, Jay, but I’m afraid some will say you are caricaturing the stance of the “sober, nuanced, factual and honest” believers.

    • Jay Salhi says

      Yeah but James Hansen is a climate profit. Cuz Ed Markey said so.

      • Foyle says

        profit [sic] is very apt. We should be very slow to trust Millennialists selling a scare.

  5. Steve Hughes says

    I am generally a fan of Quillette for broadening the debate and allowing for inclusion of otherwise suppressed voices.

    On climate science, however, I think this is not the right way forward. The following statements could have been taken from the standard climate denier playbook on how to spread doubt:

    ” But ultimately, theories of anthropogenic climate change rest on the correlation between atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations and observed planetary warming (as well as other macro variables). And while many of the mechanisms are well-studied and understood, correlation is not causality.”

    “My own view is that it is quite possible that global warming is caused by humans; and, if so, we need to do something about it. But given the inconclusive state of contemporary climate science, we can’t be sure”

    Correlation is not the reason climate scientists are concerned with climate change. It is the clear understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of Newtonian physics that makes us as confident as we could be that humans cause climate change to a very significant degree (the tiny remainder being natural processes such as solar irradiance).


    We know that CO2 traps more heat from light than the average atmosphere. We understand why, and we can replicate this effect in the lab:
    We know what the main gases are that accumulate in the atmosphere. And we know they got there by human emissions from experiments that track the concentration of different isotopes of long-lived climate gases in the atmosphere.
    To get at the magnitude of the human effect, climate models are then used to understand the dynamics of the climate system over centuries. This bit of the equation has more uncertainties than the rest, but there is not reasonable doubt whatsoever that human emissions are the vastly dominant driving force of global climate change.

    But don’t take my word for it, look at the IPCC’s view: Figure 8.15 in the Fifth Assessment Report clearly shows that the human influence exceeds natural sources of climate change by orders of magnitude:

    • Closed Range says

      I agree – it is counterproductive to attempt to confront these silly protesters by questioning the science behind GW, for two reasons. Firstly, these protesters are not scientists, and I’m sure the scientific community can see that these antics are not productive. Why pick a fight with an otherwise uninvolved third party? Instead, we should be critiquing the political aims of this movement, as it is highly doubtful that there are any good ideas coming from that crowd. The problem is that if we let them take “ownership” of the issue, then they can dictate whatever idiotic non-starter pseudo-solutions they like, which are most likely not going to stop GW and also screw up the rest of the economy.

      • Lightning Rose says

        Science happens in the language of numbers, equations and evidence. Propaganda happens in the language of emotional appeals to irrational belief. You tell me which is driving the Climate Change bus right now.

        The numbers tell us that even if the entire West “decarbonized,” CO2 emissions would still increase exponentially because of China, India, and the rest of the developing world’s rush to build coal-fired power plants.

        So we are we not imposing sanctions, investing capital, and negotiating moving to nuclear power? WHY not exactly????

        (Because the Smart Money knows it’s not a really a “thing,” THAT’S why.)

        Watch what they DO, rather than listening to what they SAY. It’s a “tell,” EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!

      • Jackson Howard says

        That is a spot on comment.

        The discussion is now one of policy, not science. By insisting on undermining the scientific results, we are increasingly seen as 1) The old rambling dude spouting non-sense best ignored and 2) Not having any serious policy proposal to deal with the issue (because we deny its existence)

        With climate change impacts getting visible to most, we are handing the Left full ownership of the issue in terms of policy. Conservatives that think that climate change is a fad that will go away during the course of the 21st century are fools.

        There is still time for conservatives to take ownership of the problem from a policy side, but that window is going to close at some point because when things start to go pear shaped, we will be the perfect scapegoats.

        Frame it as a matter of energy independence and keeping the climate and landscape of our nations as patriotic. Justify carbon tarifs as legitimate measures against polluting countries (such as India and China).

        To be honest, I think the US conservatives have gone too far for such a move, but in the EU it could work.

    • Simon Rook says

      Actually you are wrong about the Newtonian physics part. Climate science rests on the “Naiver-Stokes” equations, which are the ones dealing with fluids, which most of the climate is. The Navier-Stokes equations have yet to be solved, which is why the IPCC also says: AR3, section page 774: “In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and that therefore long term prediction of future climate states in not possible.” And by the way, if you can solve the Naiver-Stokes equations the Clay Institute of Mathematics will give you a million dollars.

      • Closed Range says


        He is not “wrong” – the Navier–Stokes equations encode Newton’s laws applied to a fluid, with the addition of viscous effects and compressible/incompressible effects. As such, they are a part of Newtonian physics. As for the Clay prize, the precise issue there is to do with the mathematical theory of solutions of partial differential equations, and not that we don’t know how to “solve” the equations in any practical setting, as shown by the fact that these equations are solved routinely the world over in fluid simulations (weather, aeronautical engineering, climate, etc…) – you can read about it here

        The Clay prize problem refers to the fact that there is not yet a mathematical proof that in general, solutions of Navier–Stokes equations (and some other related equations called Euler equations) exist for smooth initial data for abitrary times, or if they can “blow-up” in finite time (not blowing up like a bomb, but not making any sense by introducing nonphysical singularities). This is heavily tied to what exactly is allowed to count as a “solution” in the strict mathematical sense. The Clay prize problem is not so much an engineering issue of knowing how to simulate any practical problem, but rather about some of the inadequacies of the Navier–Stokes equations as a model in extreme cases, as well as limitations in mathematical techniques that we have today.

        Source: I’m a professional mathematician working in the computational simulation of partial differential equations such as NS.

        • Christopher Essex of Toronto University would disagree with you, I think.
          If Mathematicians are still arguing, then there’s a problem.
          I’m not a mathematician except I have an amateur interest. I just like to watch the mathematicians disagreeing. Lol. From all the reading I have done I think that most people are massively underestimating the complexity of the problem and also of the solutions.

        • Also, it seems to me that computational fluid dynamics is a fancy term for: I see what’s going on and if it doesn’t fit then I adjust my parameters. It’s like when you fire a gun and it misses you make adjustments. As it says in the article you referenced, the final test is to, say, put the wing in a wind tunnel and see how it works out. The problem, as Essex states, is that we don’t have another earth to do the tests on, and we can’t use this one because it is changing all the time.

        • Jesse K says

          Fair enough. But if that’s the case you should understand the statistical issues raised by numerical approximations of systems that involve massive numbers of degrees of freedom. For instance, ten years ago the Los Alamos super cluster took six weeks to complete a direct numerical solution of a thirty second snapshot of aerodynamic flow over a car mirror. Are you really suggesting that same degree of prediction can be applied to the climate, with its hundreds of thousands if not millions of interacting vectors? On a timescale comprising decades? With many factors not considered or accounted for, such as the carbon sequestration due to increased greening of the world’s surface?

          As a professional mathematician you should be highly skeptical of these extrapolative claims. That is not to say the underlying science is not well understood, which it is, but rather that predictive capacity for this system is sorely lacking at this time.

          • Closed Range says

            Jesse K

            You raise some very good points. I can’t speak specifically about climate models, because I’m not in that field. However, broadly speaking, I do know it is possible to make many calculations work over very long time periods and large scales provided that the quantity you are looking to compute is sufficiently “averaged out” so that the noise is not a problem.

            To give you an example, it is much easier to calculate the average flow of some fluid system over the next 10 years, as opposed to the flow at some specific point of the system in precisely 10 years time. The example you mention of the Los Alamos cluster was most likely a very detailed and highly resolved simulation, most likely to track the turbulence effects caused by the mirror. If you’re not interested in such levels of detail, you can simulate a system on longer timescales and larger spatial areas. When it comes to climate, this distinction is basically what differentiates the weather (short timescales, highly detailed results) from the climate (long timescales, averaged out results)

            Another point is that for very long time scale effects, it is possible to derive somewhat simplified models that are accurate on these average quantities, which in turn makes the calculations simpler. I’m not exactly an expert on those simplified models however, so I can’t say much more.

            But indeed, it was a good question, and in fact it’s precisely those kind of issues that has driven much of mathematical and engineering research in the past decades. Improvements are happening all the time, but even though it is a highly technical field of research.

          • Jesse K says

            Closed Range

            You make several good points, and I have quite a bit of experience with statistical fluid modeling (my masters degree is in aerodynamic control theory) so I am well aware of how calculating an average rather than a specific detail is much easier. My point with bringing up the DNS example was to demonstrate how even a relatively simple chaotic system can be enormously resource intensive to accurately model.

            I am also aware of how missing a single coupled variable can throw an entire simulation out of whack in less than a thousand iterations (using a fairly standard numerical ODE solver). The climate is intensely complicated, and I am skeptical that these models have taken sufficient variables into account for accurate predictions of even average temperatures. I feel my skepticism is validated by the fact that many warming predictions have been demonstrated false , and further by the continued reductions in the UN climate survey reports over the last decade.

            The point I am attempting to make is that while AGW is likely real, the effects of that reality are not well known at this time

      • David of Kirkland says

        @Simon – Detailed predictions of the future are very hard and the science and tech for that is not yet here. But that’s very different from the understanding that adding more greenhouse gases will increase the temperatures, that they will melt glaciers and permafrost that will create a chain of further warming (more water, less white reflection, methane released).
        It is fair to argue about proposed solutions, but in this case, the correlation is indeed due to causation.

        • No, the effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere is not well understood. CO2 levels have been maybe ten times higher than at present in the past. In fact the case has been made that present levels are at historic lows and that adding more would actually be good for the planet.

          • Shlo Mo says

            @Simon Rook – CO2 levels and temperature have been higher in the past… hundreds of millions of years ago before humans existed. How does this show rapid warming is good for us or that the effect of CO2 is not well understood???

        • And my final observation is: The economy is something we have created and yet no one seems to understand how it works. There are still massive arguments about all aspects of the economy. In fact no economist can ever seem to get a prediction right. The earth’s climate is way more complicated than the economy. And you really expect me to believe you either understand it or can predict anything about it? Also, I’m 70 years old and I have seen first hand how badly just about all predictions, including scientific ones like the “Limits to Growth” theory of 1972, seem be so wildly off the mark.
          Ok, I’ll stop now.

          • Shlo Mo says

            @Simon Rook – Your argument makes no sense. Just because we don’t understand some things, or someone in the fringe made a wrong prediction does not mean that we can ignore the data and the understanding we currently have. This just seems like an excuse to ignore scientific results you don’t like.

        • Lightning Rose says

          “Correlation is indeed due to causation” based on WHAT, exactly, D. of K? No one to my knowledge has yet been able to prove that the mild, gradual warming since 1850 is due to ANY cause outside of long-standing, natural variation due to factors like solar output and the vagaries of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic equivalent. The burden of proof at this point is on Warmists to show us with EVIDENCE, not emotion, that that is not the case. Let’s be clear; you are asking us to dismantle the greatest engine of human progress the world has ever seen. You’d better be able to present some compelling fucking evidence.

          Thus far, you’ve been unable to do so.

          Now if you tell me that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is going to take a crap tonight that destroys my house, which means I’ve got to move NOW, surrendering all I’ve ever owned, I’d expect some pretty damn convincing evidence that this is in fact true.

          You guys have had 40 years. And right now the ACTUAL, OBSERVED evidence for the CAGW scenario is EXACTLY the same as that for the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s Epic Dump.

          Sorry . . . .

          • Shlo Mo says

            @Lightning Rose – “No one to my knowledge has yet been able to prove that the mild, gradual warming since 1850 is due to ANY cause outside of long-standing, natural variation due to factors like solar output and the vagaries of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic equivalent.”

            The only thing this shows is that your knowledge is deficient or you are being deliberately ignorant. The radiative forcing from CO2 emissions is directly observed and is the only factor that can explain the warming trend. Solar radiance has been decreasing for decades while the temperature has risen just as rapidly and AMO/ENSO has no long term trend. The burden of proof has been met many times over by decades of research. Look at the IPCC reports instead of plugging your ears and shouting “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU”

        • Jay Salhi says

          ” Detailed predictions of the future are very hard and the science and tech for that is not yet here.”

          You should have stopped right there.

      • Shlo Mo says

        @Simon Rook – You cut off the quote:

        “Rather the focus must be upon the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive and requires the application of newmethods of model diagnosis, but such statistical informationis essential.”

        This idea exactly what climatologists do.

        • D-Rex says

          So if CO2 is such a precise control knob for global average temperature, we should be able to determine to a pretty accurate degree when the rebound from the little ice age concluded and how much of a rise in temp it caused.

    • Stephanie says

      Steve, claiming that AGW is incontrovertible because it’s basic Newtonian physics contradicts your later point about climate models. Models are guaranteed to be wrong, and haven’t been found useful at predicting the climate so far. That’s the part everyone is talking about, not some base level physics about CO2 absorbing and radiating heat. Hiding behind this haughty claim that it’s all so obvious is part of what makes people doubt. The climate is extremely complicated and our record consists of ~ 50 years of good (hopefully mostly untampered) data and a lot of dubious averages from scarce proxies. Some humility is in order when making grand statements about the past, and doubly so about the future.

      • stevengregg says

        And the climate changes so slowly that it is measured in 40 year units. So, we have one unit of climate measurement. That’s hardly enough to draw a conclusion with any measure of confidence.

      • Stephanie:

        “Models are guaranteed to be wrong, and haven’t been found useful at predicting the climate so far.”

        Well no, actually, world temperatures are indeed pretty much following model predictions made a couple of decades ago.

          • Stephanie says

            Coel, the data presented in your link are unimpressive. The few examples of “success” run hot just like 95% of the 90 projections amalgamated in EO’s link.

            Notice how the projections can’t even reproduce a simple curve for more than a few years before diverging to higher temperatures. How can you appauld their failure at this task and keep faith their future projections will be accurate?

            A robust climate model would be able to start 100 000 years ago and predict global temperature change into the present. Struggling with the laughably short time period presented here is indicative that this field is not mature.

            And this is only looking at average global temperature. The real point of contention is the consequences of this heating. Your article does not attempt to defend the record on that front because, as EO points out above, the researchers applauded in your article for their “accurate” predictions also claimed that those results meant New York would be flooded by 2006. And heaps of other such nonsense.

      • Steve Hughes says

        No it doesn’t.

        There are two distinct questions here:

        Is there a human influence on the climate?
        How big is that influence?

        As I said before, 1. is clearly answered and understood by physics. I don’t think anyone disputes that even in the comment section here.

        is where you need models, and out current understanding of the human magnitude is based on those models. Uncertainties on the magnitude certainly exist (e.g., because of the conplexity of the climate system), but that humans are the main cause by an order of magnitude is beyond reasonable doubt.

        There aren’t even any candidate alternative explanations left at this point.

      • Ray Andrews says


        If I light a campfire and sit close to it, I will warm up. This remains true if I do not even attempt a solution to the applicable Navier–Stokes equations. I am confident of warming up next to the fire in spite of knowing full well how next to impossible it is to be sure of the whether seven days from now. However chaotic and multi-variant and [math-tech jargon] the climate may be, it is plain nonsense to say that we are not warming the planet. Let’s fight the eco-hippies some other way.

    • S Snell says

      “Figure 8.15 in the Fifth Assessment Report clearly shows that the human influence exceeds natural sources of climate change by orders of magnitude”

      It does no such thing.

      In fact it doesn’t appear to even mention water vapor as a GHG, which is a pretty significant omission given that WV is up to thirty times as effective a GHG as CO2, especially in the tropics, where solar influx is at a maximum

      Furthermore an increase in radiative forcing of roughly 2 Watts per square meter is pretty small, given that peak solar irradiance is a little under 1400 Watts per square meter.

      Further-furthermore, to suggest that a minor increase in a minor greenhouse gas, only part of which humans are responsible for, is “orders of magnitude” more important than such things as plate tectonics, orbital precession and variability, the natural flux of solar radiance and solar magnetic field, and variability in oceanic and atmospheric currents, is borderline lunacy.

      Nobody is saying humans don’t affect the climate. it’s simply a matter of degree. We are a very small, very short-lived part of a very large system that’s been doing this climate thingy for a long, long, long time. If you look at climate change from a geologic perspective, it just isn’t that big a deal.

      • Stephanie says

        Orders of magnitude is indeed incorrect. I’ve seen anything from 30-80% of the warming attributed to humans. The supposed “consensus” on AGW breaks down pretty quickly when you ask anything but the most anodyne question.

      • Shlo Mo says

        @S Snell – “In fact it doesn’t appear to even mention water vapor as a GHG, which is a pretty significant omission given that WV is up to thirty times as effective a GHG as CO2, especially in the tropics, where solar influx is at a maximum”

        That’s because water vapor is not a radiative forcing. This does not mean it is ignored, it means it is part of the climate sensitivity calculation and not the primary cause of changes in temperature. You should at least be aware of the basics of climatology before attempting to criticize it.

        “Furthermore an increase in radiative forcing of roughly 2 Watts per square meter is pretty small, given that peak solar irradiance is a little under 1400 Watts per square meter.”

        You’re confusing change in radiative forcing with total radiative forcing. Total radiative forcing keeps the earth from being a giant ice ball. The change in radiative forcing from that baseline is what causes global warming.

        “Further-furthermore, to suggest that a minor increase in a minor greenhouse gas, only part of which humans are responsible for, is “orders of magnitude” more important than such things as plate tectonics, orbital precession and variability, the natural flux of solar radiance and solar magnetic field, and variability in oceanic and atmospheric currents, is borderline lunacy.”
        It would indeed be lunacy to suggest that, too bad the change in CO2 is not minor, CO2 is a major greenhouse gas, and the humans are totally responsible for that change (actually they are responsible for more than the change but natural sinks absorb more than natural sources emit, meaning the observed change is less than what humans emit).

        All this fallacious reasoning in order to deny well-evidenced scientific facts that are inconvenient for your political ideology is pretty pathetic.

        • S Snell says

          @ Shlo Mo

          If you believe the AGW partisans, of which you are apparently one, then CO2 is THE MOST IMPORTANT VARIABLE EVER EVER EVER EVER in determining climate, and we are DOOMED if we don’t get it under control. This is simply not true.

          This thing we call climate is the product of literally thousands of interacting and highly dynamic variables, and CO2 is only ONE of them, and demonstrably of only median importance in the scheme of things.

          “You’re confusing change in radiative forcing with total radiative forcing. Total radiative forcing keeps the earth from being a giant ice ball. The change in radiative forcing from that baseline is what causes global warming.”

          No I’m not, I’m providing contrasting information for the sake of perspective. Ultimately all radiation energy comes from the sun. Here’s how much that is. Now compare that with the amount that derives from a slightly enhanced level of CO2. It’s quite small by comparison. See?

          I have found that AGW types tend to focus on minutia. They don’t get geologic time at all, nor the scale on which natural processes actually operate, nor do they grasp natural history all that well. So they see a little wrinkle in the data and simply freak.

          You quibble over semantics, but here’s the deal: Water vapor far outclasses CO2 as a GHG. Yes it is unevenly distributed whereas CO2 is not, so its effects are variable across the planet’s surface. But overall it dominates.

          “Water vapor is not radiative forcing.” What the hell does that even mean? When you compare the absorption spectra of water vapor and CO2, and their actual net radiative absorption based on their actual concentrations, WV vastly outclasses CO2 overall. Ergo, it is a more important GHG. QED.

          You completely ignore the fact that we are near the lowest level of atmospheric CO2 in Phanerozoic history. You hint that we are headed for disaster with a thirty percent increase of this (critically important) gas, yet for most of our planet’s history, the level of atmospheric CO2 has been far higher, and the planet got along just fine. Indeed, it flourished. Your implication is that CO2 levels are approaching the danger point. But if you want to talk correlation, by any reasonable measure atmospheric CO2 correlates exceptionally strongly with life abundance.

          By the way, your lecturing, superior tone irritates the hell out of me. Unfortunately it is typical of AGW advocates, who seem to think it is their life mission to correct their lessers, as they overestimate their ability to actually do so.

          This topic is monstrously complex, not simple. Why do you insist on trying to make it so?

          Oh yeah, ideology. Humans getting out of control. Must regulate.

    • stevengregg says

      The IPCC is a political organization of scientists, not a scientific organization, and has made far too many unscientific declarations to trust.

      We know from history that CO2 increases after global warming, not before it. In a world with thousands of variables, maybe millions, it is fantastic to claim that CO2 is the control knob for global warming. It is also fantastic to claim that human input, which generates far less energy than the Sun, trumps the Sun’s contribution to the Earth’s climate.

      • S Snell says


        The overtly political nature of the latter-day IPCC has driven off much of the scientific talent, Chris Landsea and John Christy spring to mind.

        A point lost on many AGW enthusiasts is that a world that was warmer for ANY reason would have more atmospheric CO2 due to oceanic outgassing and increased biologic activity. In all likelihood, Co2 follows temperature far more than it leads. And what looks like cause is probably more of an effect.

      • Lightning Rose says

        The question I’d really like an answer to is WHY is anyone still FUNDING the UN, let alone the IPCC, an organization with an agenda virtually no one wants and has quite obviously outlived the mission for which it was originally formed?

        Please remember that these “authorities” only have the power and capital we GIVE them–and consider carefully how long that situation should continue.

        Unless of course you honestly think one-world socialistic government under totaliatarian, unelected powers is how you would prefer to be governed.

        • E. Olson says

          LR – if IPCC funding were stopped it would cause little Greta Thunberg and her followers to have a stroke and die, and then who would run the future one-world totalitarian government?

      • Lightning Rose says

        Especially since we have robust evidence that CO2 was at 2000 ppm. DURING ICE AGES!

    • Cells says

      Historical “science” cannot be reliably tested, in that, it must always be interpreted. We can never be sure of things we do not see happening in real time, we all assume and interpret based on what we already believe. Seeing something today does not mean that A. it happened before B. it didn’t happen before C. we have all the information there ever was D. it will continue happening in the future F. on and on.
      The data cannot “tell us” a thing. We must read it based on what we believe because otherwise you just have a chart of data that says next to nothing. We set parameters, we make assumption and even if something “could” have happened, it never means it “did” happen because we do not have every bit of information since the beginning of time and we haven’t seen everything play out first hand.

      We shut down other views that can be equally supported by the “evidence” when it doesn’t fit our belief system. We say things like “there is not reasonable doubt whatsoever” to ignore conflicting views because they are not “reasonable” to our personal belief system and interpretation. That is NOT “science” and it is not rational thinking.
      I can say “there is not reasonable doubt whatsoever” that abortion is not killing of a defenceless human life. My proof being #1. it is illegal to commit murder and abortion is not illegal and #2 medical science tells me it is just a blob of cells.
      However, #1 Hitler made it legal to kill jews once and #2 we are ALL (every living thing) just blobs of cells.

      Funny how we can be so absolutely sure about a thing when we cannot even figure to how or why we believe we are rational thinkers, or how life began. We believe that mutations fuel upward evolution but then we intentionally abort the mutated.
      I have no doubt that people who can support feticide (or geronticide) cannot be trusted. Any “scientist” (especially biological) who can turn a blind eye to infanticide (feticide) as anything less than the extinguishing of an defenceless human life cannot be the standard of honestly. They will approve your death before you can be born; call me crazy (some of you will) but I don’t call that a reliable person to protect humanity.

      Global warming now has Biology texts teaching that we must further lower human reproduction.Some texts show a large, pregnant women being lectured by a smug looking women with her arms crossed across her chest as clearly not the “earth destroyer” of the piece, while the text encourage us to “take a stand and EDUCATE your friends, family, and coworkers”.

      But wait, there’s more! The same texts tell us to give our organs when we die, and undergo experimental testing if we are sick, to extend the life of… those who can afford such treatments and are “chosen” by “professionals” as higher on a “list”?
      Hold on, I thought we were overpopulated? Why are we saving dying people? Besides, maybe cancer is the next step in evolution. If a bacteria became vital mitochondria, and we haven’t a clue how or why, and it only happened “just the one time”, why can’t the cancer be an evolutionary step? For a world of evolved things, we sure are terrified of change and that seems counterproductive.

      Many of the elderly, so we are now told, have outlived their usefulness. After a life of productivity and paying for many of the advances in technology that we have achieved, they are suddenly a “burden” on “society”. Besides, they should not want to live in old, tired, hurting bodies. They should be offered (forcefully) assisted suicide options “for the greater good”. Overpopulation…limited resources…yada-yada…

      Why are we forcing vaccines to “protect” everyone? AS a fully vaccinated person, I say; what happened to “my body, my choice”? Don’t say abortions do not put others at risk because a women who chooses an abortion for her body causes someone’s death nearly 100% of the time. But if we are fine with killing the unborn and we are fine with offing the elderly, WHY are we so darn terrified of letting “nature” take its course with these illnesses that could be culling the herd? Only the weak will die, what is the problem? How can we evolve if we hide from every possible mutation and invader? All of this seems so ridiculous.

      We beg organs for the sick and injured and beg money for experimental treatments. And then in the next breath we also encouraging abortion and medical suicide? Who is this all for? You? Me? Because it seems to me that the only people the educated elite want populating the earth are those perfectly content to sit back and watch a slaughter or who will actually participate in it. Personally, I don’t think those sick freaks deserve my Earth.

      Try to focus on what I said, not how I’ve said it. It’s been a long week. 😉 If you are pretty sure you know what I meant, don’t give me a case of it over grammar and rhetoric.

  6. SLC Dave says

    Gotta love the old correlation doesn’t prove causation argument. Scientific theories start with basic observations (for example global atmospheric CO2 concentrations are increasing), and then scientists ask why it is happening (Humans absolutely). The next step is to ask what the consequences might be. The answer in this case did not rest on noticing a correlation with global temperature. Instead the answer rested on physical analysis of infrared radiation emission and absorption in the atmosphere. It was only then that scientists went looking for trends in the temperature data to help confirm their theory. They have also used repeatable lab experiments, observations of climate on other planets, and computer simulations to bolster their findings. Theories on AGW do not rest on the correlation of temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations, they rest on and understanding of fundamental physical processes and concepts developed in the mid 20th century. They are the same physical concepts that have helped build a modern society filled with refrigerators, laser pointers, LED tvs, cell phones, and many other devices. It does help prove your point though: Stay in school and take more math and physics classes!

    • David of Kirkland says

      Indeed, a lame argument that fails the sniff test, that many correlated things are from causation. Just because it’s not always the case doesn’t mean it’s not often the case. And the correlation is what presented scientists to study, as you point out, the greenhouse effect.

      • BrainFireBob says

        David, I frequently disagree with you, but respect your opinion because you typically research- have to respect that- but that’s a shatteringly wrong headed thing to say and way to say said thing.

        Correlation is not causation, in science, describes uncertainty of relationship- two things happening together could be coincidental, have causality in either direction, or both be independently coupled to another driver (ie, both are symptoms).

        It is never acceptable to say “plenty of times correlation implies causation.” Statistically, mathematically, it axiomatically never does! Noting correlation may indicate the possibility of relation, testing then must happen. These terms have a very rigid and precise meaning in this context.

        Take GW. Correlation: Temps are up, CO2 is up. Both could be contingent (caused) by increased water vapor. Or both could happen driven by independent cycles- of temperature is driven by volcanic ash in the atmosphere, but the oceans have a 2000 year long CO2 emission cycle, period will exist where they appear correlated but are not. Or as another poster noted, the CO2 could be a reactive metric- the amount of CO2 being a product of warmth.

        Thst’s where science needs to test. But even showing that CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas in isolation doesn’t make it the dominant mechanism in atmosphere.

        Fundamentally, the best argument for taking action on CO2 emissions is Pascal’s wager, not some points scoring contest.

        • Shlo Mo says

          @BrainFireBob You completely missed the point, that causation is already proven via the greenhouse effect. AGW never rested on a correlation.

          • BrainFireBob says

            You could assume that, or you could educate yourself that it’s a theory precisely because while small scale greenhouse effects can be shown, the combination of heat loss to space, duration in atmosphere, release of CO2 from other sources, action of other, more effective greenhouse gases (such as water vapor), bring into question whether man-made CO2 is the primary driver.

            The correlation is that a single effect is the primary driver.

            I know I can drink tap water. I know the ocean is water. That does not make the ocean directly potable.

    • Actually you are wrong. The Navier=Stokes equations that govern fluids, which most of the climate is, have not yet been solved. You simplify the problem way too much. The climate is the most difficult and problematic system we have ever tried to analyse. We are nowhere near getting clarity on it yet.

      • “The Navier=Stokes equations that govern fluids, which most of the climate is, have not yet been solved.”

        Which is why one uses numerical computer methods, rather than analytical maths. And that works fine. Your objection is a red-herring.

  7. Closed Range says

    I trust climatologists who say that climate change is man-made and real. I’m quite sure that most climatologists will look with horror at these protesting zealots who think that disrupting London is in any way a constructive approach to addressing the issue. All these protesting fools do is piss everyone off, and drown out the genuine informed discussions on how best to address the problem.

    Even worse, the choice of city for disruption was wrong. Causing mayhem in London serves no purpose when the biggest chunk of CO2 emissions in today’s world come from China+India, and the UK is one of the better countries worldwide when it comes to CO2 emissions. According to, over the last few decades the UK has yearly CO2 emissions per capita trending downwards from 8 tonnes down to 6 tonnes, whereas Germany has gone from around 10 tonnes to 8.9 tonnes, and the US has gone from 20 tonnes down to 15 tonnes.

    Those kids would have been far wiser to protest the increase in coal and gas fired power plants that happened in Germany when they closed their nuclear plants as a result of fears following Fukushima, or perhaps they should have tried their chances at disrupting India or China, just to see what kind of reception they would get there. But that would require real courage, wouldn’t it?

    • Barney Doran says

      Perhaps a Children’s Crusade to China would do the trick.

    • Felix Kirkby says

      You make an excellent point.

      My intention with this article wasn’t to deny anthropogenic climate change hypotheses out-of-hand. Indeed, I think it’s quite likely that global warming is caused in part by human activity. Consequently, it’s sensible for governments to be somewhat ecologically responsible. The UK’s been a trailblazer in this respect, decommissioning out-of-date coal power plants, introducing the London ULEZ, etc.

      The problem is when people (particularly teens with no understanding of the literature whatsoever) hijack this process, claiming that climate change is without a doubt caused by human activity and could end the world in a few years, and try to effect legislative change which could do real damage to our economic systems: for instance, Extinction Rebellion’s proposed ban on cows, gas boilers, flying, petrol, etc., which I cite in the article.

      And, yes, it is darkly ironic that the protestors’ carbon footprint is so enormous.

      • Thanks for an impressive article. But I assume you are unaware that the phrase ‘Climate Denier’ was coined and popularised to equate climate scepticism to Holocaust denial.

      • Lightning Rose says

        Do you see ANYONE, ANYWHERE curtailing flying, driving, building, investing, expanding their businesses or real estate holdings, or aborting fetuses to “prevent climate change?”

        Nah! Me, neither. This is 100% prime, vintage BS that makes celebrities and politicians look like “virtuous” in much the same way as:

        “I’m totally AGAINST lung cancer, child molestation, drowning puppies, plastic straws and genital mutilation.”

        Which doesn’t require any ACTUAL lifestyle change, see?

  8. TheSnark says

    Petr Bauch says: “The real question you should be asking is: what is the probability-weighted outcome of climate change? If human activity is causing it and we ignore it, the planet becomes uninhabitable (low probability). If human activity is not causing it but we still implement drastic changes to fix it, we may slow down the progress of our technological development (high probability).”

    This glosses over the key point. “? If human activity is causing it and we ignore it, the planet becomes uninhabitable (low probability)”. While the chances of the planet becoming unhabitable are low, the consequences of that are catastrophic. That’s the reason you buy car insurance, not because the chances of an accident are high, but because the results could be very expensive.

    For that reason alone we should be addressing climate change. Some reduction of economic growth is worth mitigating the risk of future catastrophe. And if we did it through rational economic measures, such as carbon taxes, rather than “Green New Deal”-style over-regulation, the economic impact would be minimal.

    • Stephanie says

      TheSnark, of course the assumption there is that global warming will render the planet uninhabitable. That’s a pretty astounding claim, considering what this planet has been through. The most similar thing to current warming in the geological record was the PETM, and far from causing chaos and destruction (or fire and brimstone), it lead to great flourishing of animal and plant life. Instead of being worried, buy a beachfront property in the Arctic!

      If you want a more likely Armageddon to fear, fear another glacial period. That would be catastrophic for humans, and actually has happened often in the recent past. By your own logic we ought to act to prevent this: I suggest accelerating our consumption of fossil fuels.

      • S Snell says


        “If you want a more likely Armageddon to fear, fear another glacial period.”

        Precisely. Cold is death; warmth is life.

        However, I take issue with you in your comparison of our current situation to the PETM. We are a long, long way from those conditions. A closer comparison would be to one of the nine other warm periods of the Holocene interglacial. Maybe the Roman Warm Period, a middling event. We’re not there yet, but could possibly be in a couple of hundred years.

        • Stephanie says

          There is no perfect proxy, but I point to the PETM because it was a massive CO2 flux that caused rapid warming, unlike the interglacial periods.

    • Stephanie says

      TheSnark, sorry, also wanted to mention the Canadian carbon tax is one of the reasons foreign investment in Canada has dropped like a stone in recent years. Far from being minimal, the impact will be to drive business to greener pastures. The CO2 will still be emitted, just somewhere else like China or India.

    • D-Rex says

      The only times in the past when the planet became uninhabitable for anything other than simple organisms was when it got COLDER! See ‘snowball earth”. Historically, a warmer climate is a more stable climate with a REDUCTION of extreme weather events. CAGW is total BS, we should be embracing a warmer world(we are still in an ice age BTW) not fearing it. It is simply not feasible that CO2 concentrations this low are at the upper end of the acceptable range.

  9. Farris says

    “Global warming was once a worry about too much heat. It implied that man-made carbon emissions had so warmed the planet that life as we knew it would soon be imperiled without radical changes in consumer lifestyles.
    Yet in the last 30 years, record cold spells, inordinate snow levels and devastating rains have been common. How to square that circle? Substitute “climate change” for global warming. Presto! Any radical change in weather could be perceived as symptomatic of too much climate-changing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    Suddenly, blizzards, deluges and subzero temperatures meant that typically unpredictable weather was “haywire” because of affluent Westernized lifestyles.”

    A look at the evidence for anthropologic global warming. First the computer models predicted warming that did not occur. Wild predictions of no more snow, Kilimanjaro with out snow and others failed to materialize but yet the models were still to be trusted. Finally the predictions had become so absurd the name was changed to “climate change”, a wonderful catch all. There is evidence of manipulated data and temperature records being adjusted upwards but the faith remains. There is no accounting for solar and geological activity. One has to over look this and a lot more to still see anthropologic global warming.

    Gould’s thesis is that throughout the history of science, prejudiced scientists studying human beings allowed their social beliefs to color their data collection and analysis. Gould believed that this confirmation bias was particularly powerful when a scientists’ beliefs were socially important to them.

    Scientists’ pre-conceived notions about the things they study do guide their data collection and analysis. These beliefs guide scientists in choosing variables to measure, theories to test, statistical methods to employ, and more. This connection between beliefs and methods is a strong one.

    • Esmon Dinucci says

      Most people, when the facts change, change their beliefs.
      Unfortunately there are those who change the facts to accord with their beliefs – at the moment they seem to have the upper hand.

    • john davies says

      You hit the nail on the head.

      The outcome measure for “climate change” is “extreme weather events”, something that is not measurable and is confounded by reporting and confirmation bias. Every day I hear the latest weather disaster – be it flood, drought, bush fire – as further proof of climate change. This is apocalyptic and frightening, but it is not science.

      Scientists struggle to agree on how to measure global temperature change, but at least it is a scientific outcome. I agree that we should be cynical about why the focus of the debate has changed.

      My own view is that this is really a political debate, and young people will always be idealists and be attracted to Utopian solutions. The head of the EU committee for climate change, Miguel Arias Canete – whose family has large interests in the oil and livestock industries – wants zero carbon emissions by 2050. In practice, this would mean the end of the oil, livestock, coal and transport industries. Have these kids thought through the ramifications of this?

      On the day of the student protests here, a teacher suggested that ,instead of joining the march, her students should take some immediate and practical steps to reduce carbon emissions: turning off the air conditioners for the afternoon, and enforcing the policy of disposing of rubbish in the corresponding bins. It was a hot day and they all decided to stay in school.

  10. TheSnark says

    By the way, I don’t begrudge the frustration of the European kids. Their governments have been talking about climate change and promising drastic actions for decades, but have actually done very little. The only reductions in European green-house gas emissions have come about by accident: shutting down the incredibly dirty Soviet-era industries, closing England’s inefficient coal mines (Germany, the leader in green rhetoric, won’t do that until the 2030’s) and replacing them with gas, etc. The gap between words and actions is immense.

    • Closed Range says

      TheSnark –

      I think you’re a bit unfair on both the UK and Germany countries as a whole. It is true that reducing old industries contributed, but it is also clear that in the period of 2008 to now, both the UK and Germany have each experienced a total real GDP growth (i.e adjusted for inflation) of 12% , whilst both reducing CO2 emissions (see link above for CO2 data, and for inflation-adjusted GDP see .

      On the one hand the UK is a services dominated economy, and Germany is industrial dominated, but they each prove that people can make a living whilst reducing CO2 emissions. There is progress happening, but it’s not coming from a bunch of teenagers rioting in London, who are in no ways helping.

      • TheSnark says

        Closed Range: closing down old industries contributed to all, or more than all, of Germany’s greenhouse gas reductions between 1990 and 2010. Since then they have been spending absurd amount of money on solar and wind, to the point of distorting the world market for solar panels and having some of the highest electricity prices in Europe. And that in a country where it rains or is cloudy or foggy most of the year.

        Which is my point other point…if you do it the “Green New Deal” way it gets very expensive very quickly.

        And Stephanie, the drop in investment in Canada is more due to lower energy prices reducing the investments in tar sands and other energy projects, not to their carbon tax. Not that carbon taxes are cost-free, all taxes cost something. But it’s much more cost-effective than the German way of doing it.

        • Stephanie says

          TheSnark, energy prices have rebounded and foreign investment is still dropping. The carbon tax isn’t the only factor at play, but the other relevant factors are also self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the economy, similarly motivated by the AGW ideology.

          We don’t need a cost-effective way of reducing emissions. We need to increase emissions to try to avoid another glacial period. This is especially important for Canada’s long-term future.

          • D-Rex says

            Sorry Stephanie, much as I agree with you on basically everything, current science suggests that the next glacial is actually a few thousand years away. Too far off for fossil fuels to prevent. See:

    • Jay Salhi says

      Tell the kids they can do their fare share by (i) giving up internet access, (ii) agreeing never to own a car and (iii) agreeing never to fly on a plane.

  11. Thomas B Talbot says

    I enjoyed this cogent opinion article by a young student. He is a rational one who remains open to possibilities but is unwilling to be blinded by dogma and passions of the day. His thesis (and the headline) is absolutely correct.

  12. dirk says

    Global warming a hugely complex field, Felix? Who told you so? Are you just repeating what the adults told you? I wonder, and think, you know much better, even if a child. Global warming is a result of burning up the results of millions of years of planetary carbon savings, and everybody is disfruiting it, we are 7 billions now, and many more are going to disfruit so. Hugely complex? Please, don’t listen any more to those silly adults!!! Better, listen to Greta!

    • Kevin Herman says

      Someone needs to explain to me why a modest increase in global temperatures is necessrily an over-all bad thing.

      • S Snell says

        @ Kevin Herman

        It’s just bad, OK. Don’t think about it. Don’t question it. Just get with the program.

        Or else.

    • There is more and more evidence that fossil fuels are spontaneously created just below the earth’s mantle by the heat and pressure on the main substances down there, which are calcium carbonate, iron oxide and water. An experiment was done some years ago by the Carnegie Institute in Washington to show this. If in fact this is correct, it explains why peak oil never seems to materialise and it would then imply that they are in fact for all practical purposes inexhaustible.

      • K. Dershem says

        Link, please? With all due respect, this sounds like complete nonsense.

        • dirk says

          It not only sounds like complete nonsense, KD, it is so. My God, wishful thinking in this case is even too much said. But where else as only on sites, twitter, facebook and blogs can somebody spawn his own cherished nonsense so easily? There is an anthropocene, and and a digital -cene right now.

  13. Jim says

    I am amused by the confusion, across the political spectrum, about “correlation doesn’t prove causation.” By this standard, nothing is ever proven. All scientific knowledge arises from the careful observation of correlation, and, where possible, changing the circumstances of the measurement to eliminate (or randomize) certain inputs to isolate correlated observables. Our knowledge that water vapor absorbs infrared light is based on an inverse correlation between the light reaching an IR detector and the relative humidity in a sample cell.

    Correlation does not prove causation, but it’s all we ever have.

    • Lightning Rose says

      A great deal of harmful “epidemiology” rests on exactly this premise.

    • BrainFireBob says

      That’s a pretty clear misrepresentation of correlation. Correlation means there seems to be a statistically significant relationship. Direct manipulation and observation of direct effect is causation, if other variables are normalized or matched.

  14. Stephanie says

    I pray that AGW is real and we’ve successfully kicked ourselves out of our 23 million year long cold spell, but in the pit of my stomach I fear we haven’t.

    Good article. Even adults could use a little reflection and a lot of humility on this issue.

    • S Snell says

      @ Stephanie

      The current heat balance of the planet places us far closer to icehouse conditions than hothouse. To “fix” this would require the net inflow of gargantuan amounts of heat, which can only take place over geologic time spans.

      This little carbon blip might, big might, forestall the return of the ice for couple of centuries but not more than that. In all likelihood, the current Ice Age–yes we are still in one–will persist for several million more years, until such time as plate tectonism rearranges the continents sufficiently to improve heat flow between the equator and the poles.

      • Stephanie says

        S Snell, at the beginning of the Cenozoic we had a relatively stable, much warmer climate. The continents weren’t positioned much differently than they are today, just the Atlantic was a little smaller. I don’t know why we’ve been in a temperature free fall, but looking at the long game that is the battle we should be fighting. Instead of worrying about a little warming, we should make good use of the next few centuries and figure out how to get our planet warm again. I have faith in human ingenuity, so I think it can be done if we don’t let the AGW ideologues pull us into their socialist trap.

        • D-Rex says

          Snell and Steph, I fear that the engine that drives the earth’s internal heat is slowing down and we will never get out of this current ice age. I hope I’m wrong but much of the internal heat is generated by radioisotopic decay and that must surely be slowing down. BUT we’ve had ice ages before and come out of them.

          • Foyle says

            D-Rex, don’t worry, the sun is slowly getting hotter/bigger as it burns through it’s hydrogen. The future of earth is hot hot hot.

  15. OK, not bad for a 16-yr-old, but he doesn’t properly understand the process of science.

    “But ultimately, theories of anthropogenic climate change rest on the correlation between atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations and observed planetary warming (as well as other macro variables).”

    No, the theories are much more solid than that, resting on a wider understanding of the relevant physics.

    “But given the inconclusive state of contemporary climate science, we can’t be sure; and, until we absolutely do know the truth, we should hold off on drastic action.”

    The science is plenty conclusive enough (the doubts are politically motivated). And we can never “absolutely know the truth”, and if we did it would then be way too late to do anything anyhow.

    So we have no option but to decide what to do now (whether that is action or inaction), based on our current good-enough-but-not-perfect understanding.

    • E. Olson says

      Coel – you are absolutely correct that our author doesn’t understand the process of science.

      Modern science is expensive, so the first step is requires that the scientist apply for research grants, usually from government agencies. The government then decides who get the money based on which grant proposals are most likely to generate results that support the agency’s Leftist policy objectives. Research that supports the Leftist policy goals is conducted with the grant money and if the results actually do provide support are widely publicized by the government and the mainstream media. Results that don’t support the funding agency objectives is deemed flawed and new “homogenized” data is collected until the correct results are obtained. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

      • Actually, that’s not how science works. First, who gets most grant money is decided by other scientists, on scientific merit, rather than by “the government”. Second, the vast majority of science is not politically controversial (climate change is an exception), and so “leftist goals” are not relevant.

        • BrainFireBob says

          The first part of that is idealistic tosh, grant money is decided by university politics. Those are admins, not scientists deciding purely on merit.

      • S Snell says

        @E. Olson

        Precisely. Science is a human endeavor, hence trendy and political. The cool kids control the money and the agenda, and won’t let you join the club unless you take the pledge.

  16. John P says

    “It cannot be denied that the world is heating up. And most scientists agree that human activity plays a large part. But ultimately, theories of anthropogenic climate change rest on the correlation between atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations and observed planetary warming (as well as other macro variables). And while many of the mechanisms are well-studied and understood, correlation is not causality. And so there remains a possibility that our vast efforts to control global warming may cause unintended—and undesired—consequences.”

    Furthermore, climate change alarmists are extremely weak on explaining how exactly they know….or how it can be known…how much CO2 reduction will resilt in X change. It’s a pretentious ignorance that never gets challenged in the media because journos think the same way.

    • Shlo Mo says

      @John P – Climate science does not rely on a correlation between greenhouse gases and warming. The mechanism for this is completely causative and directly observed. Radiative spectroscopy tells us how much energy is being added to Earth’s atmosphere from a change in greenhouse gas concentration. This radiative forcing then gets multiplied by a number called the climate sensitivity that represents the effects of various feedback loops in the climate that amplify the initial change in energy (for example, adding energy to earth’s atmosphere warms the oceans which causes water vapor and CO2 to evaporate into the atmosphere which causes more warming). The climate sensitivity can be estimated in a number of ways and I suggest you look at the IPCC AR5 report if you want a good summary of the science. The final result is the change in temperature from a change in greenhouse gases. Preventing that change in greenhouse gases will prevent that change in temperature.

      • D-Rex says

        Please explain how ‘adding energy to earth’s atmosphere warms the oceans’. Try haeting up a glass of water with a blow drier and see how far you get.

      • D-Rex says

        Please explain how ‘adding energy to earth’s atmosphere warms the oceans’. Try heating up a glass of water with a blow dryer and see how far you get.

  17. Steve says

    @DavidOfKirkland – would a person who dropped a bowling ball on their toes ever think to classify carbon dioxide as a “pollutant”? Like for real: do you consider carbon dioxide a pollutant?

  18. Sydney says

    Wonderful work, Felix! Very glad to show your post to my 15-year-old here in Canada. Kids need to see their peers pushing back against the narratives. Keep thinking and writing!

  19. Jonathan Smith says

    Greta Thurnberg was all over The Guardian this morning advocating that we ‘panic’. Well even if the planet is warming, and human activity is in some measure responsible, panic is never a good state in which to make wise decisions.

  20. sturbain says

    “Felix Kirkby is a 16-year-old English schoolboy.”

    Watch this one – he’ll go far.

      • neoteny says

        he just might

        This reminded me of Tom Hagen saying in the ‘Godfather’: “they might; they just might”.

    • Foyle says

      sturbain: “Watch this one – he’ll go far.”

      Yes straight to Siberia for wrongthink. He’ll find it hard to stomach/survive academia in anything other than STEM 🙁

  21. Felix Kirby writes: “My own view is that it is quite possible that global warming is caused by humans; and, if so, we need to do something about it. But given the inconclusive state of contemporary climate science, we can’t be sure; and, until we absolutely do know the truth, we should hold off on drastic action. Encouraging mobs of young people to join the climate-protest movement only adds a spirit of social panic to an issue that already is extremely tangled.”

    I wonder what kind of “drastic action” he feels we should hold off doing. We might have begun phasing out the use of fossil fuels for generating power and driving vehicles forty years ago. In addition to saving them for conversion to petrochemicals, this would have prevented a lot of pollution and the associated problems. But the attractions of short-term profit and short-term thinking proved too strong.

    Science tells us with reasonable certainty that human activities are the primary cause of the warming we currently observe. The climate that is projected to result from continued warming is one that will make life more difficult. In economic terms, doing nothing about the problem will likely cost five times as much as measures proposed to deal with it. (See e.g. the Stern Review.)

    Reading the comments here was like a trip down denier memory lane. People doubt the validity of the mainstream consensus on climate science, because money. Here’s a thought: Given how much money goes into maintaining the fossil fuel industries, would not anyone who could show valid data disproving that consensus be richly rewarded? I feel certain of it.

    Yet in all the years since Dr. Hansen first testified before Congress, no such data has appeared. You skeptics really should ask yourselves why.

    • To Christopher Winter: Nonsense. Climate change is caused by variation in cloud formation (clouds blocking out the sun) as a result of variation in extra-solar cosmic rays reaching the earth, in turn a consequence of changes in the strength of the sun’s magnetic field, which varies according to several very different periodicities of surface sun activity (sun spots, etc). [Cosmic rays act as nuclei for water molecules to condense out of the atmosphere to make an aerosol.] This is also impacted by the position of the sun in its long trajectory through the Milky Way galaxy (when it passes through a spiral arm of the galaxy, it is much closer to the relatively near super-novae main source of our cosmic rays), and where the earth is in its long orbit around the sun (which changes from elliptical to circular and back again, altering the distance from the sun). The complex interplay of all these cycles (plus a number of slight impacts of the moon and planets) exactly corresponds to all earth temperature data, whether recent, historical, ancient, prehistoric or way back in geological time. This data shows that CO2 rise/fall LAGS temperature change, so cannot be the driver, and contributes in only a small way in slightly compounding any temperature rise in being a non-potent ‘greenhouse gas’ in very low atmospheric concentration. Temperature changes the rate of release of CO2 from the oceans; by far the main reservoir of CO2. The anthropogenic model has zero predictive value and is dead. As we’re now entering a grand solar minimum, with significant temperature falls imminent, data will fully confirm a heliogenic (as opposed to an anthropogenic) model within 10 to 20 years, and the death of global warming alarmism will be incontrovertible.

      • Shlo Mo says

        @Steve Moxon – cosmic rays have been increasing for decades yet warming is still as rapid as ever. Please show me your model.

        CO2 does not currently lag temperature and only did so on the past because the CO2 emissions were not the initiative factor as it is now.

        • D-Rex says

          It’s just a coincidence of the industrial revolution that CO2 does not currently lag temperatures. We are in a truly unique period in history.

    • BrainFireBob says

      There’s money speculating in favor of alternative energies. The smug assumption that money is in fossil fuels, and these evil people will just reward anyone who maintains their dominance, is naive regarding planned economies

      • We know that some of them, ExxonMobil most notably, undertook to sow confusion in the public mind about the state of climate science.

        And do you really want to claim that grants for climate science add up to anything like the aggregate of money in fossil fuels?

        • David Norman says

          Christopher. Do you really suppose that the motives of the companies behind wind and solar are different from those of fossil fuel companies? In fact they are a powerful and in my view regrettably successful pressure group. Their profits come largely at the expense of taxpayers and consumers who are overcharged because the distinctly modest contribution their product makes to the grid is so expensive.

        • BrainFireBob says

          Shifting goal post. I spent a decade working in solar, a free doing graduate work (as an assistant, admittedly), in a climate change lab.

          I said there’s vast speculative money and opportunity in the pro climate change business world, and to think otherwise- to smugly and outdatedly think of it as David v Goliath against evil oil corps- is at best willfully blind and at worst disingenuous. China, for one, has heavily invested in control of worldwide solar production, as one example. Money is lost before recouping value if alarmist doesn’t continue

  22. Fran says

    Last Thursday Environment Canada predicted a lovely warm and sunny Easter weekend for southern coastal BC. Friday was sunny and then cold driving rain moved in for the rest of the weekend. This was based on models. When they get a model that can predict how warm it will be in 72 hours, I’ll start believing that a model can predict. I can remember when Hansen predicted the next ice age was imminent.

    • Shlo Mo says

      @Fran – do you understand the difference between what and climate? If you do you will realize the difference in predicting them.

      And please show me your source for Hansen predicting an ice age (which makes no sense since we are currently in an ice age).

  23. Arche Lasalles says

    “Pompous little twit. You don’t have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get the food into the cities. Horses? If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating. You would bring about mass death.”
    – Patrick Moore in response to AOC’s New Green Deal

    Disrupting London for the day is the tip of the iceberg…

  24. dirk says

    I’m amazed by the style and word choice of the 16 yr old Felix! At that age, I knew, besides the existence and fun of skating, football, holidays, parties and cheesecake, also that there was something like science, environment, philosophy and politics (boring things of the adult world) but I certainly did not know terms like fluid mechanics, statistics,voluntary de-industrialisation, umbrella terms, let alone that I would feel at home or been interested in the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and politics. Did Felix cook up this nice elaborated essay all by himself, without help? Or is it a hoax?

    • Arche Lasalles says

      Hello Dirk,
      As impressive as Felix is, he is a dime a dozen these days. Just in my children’s year groups I know of a quite a few like him. The kooky Thumbergian ‘children of the damned’ not so much, hallelujah.
      Company you keep?

      • dirk says

        I recognize Greta as a child of flesh and blood and serious youngsters concern, Arche, but somebody like Kirby? or Kirkby? I really don’t know! Statistics and fluid mechanics? Is that taught already these days in high school? Intersection of neuroscience and philosophy (note that intersection, he is already much further than that neuroscience or philosophy an sich). Or is he reading about it on Google and in real grown up study books? I still believe it’s a hoax.

        • Felix Kirkby says

          Don’t worry, it’s not a hoax! I did write this article, and I am actually 16.

          Neuroscience and uni-level philosophy aren’t taught in UK schools, nope; these are areas of interest which my school has encouraged me to study.

        • dirk says

          What is well said, Johanna? (that’s always again the question on Quillette, one never knows what’s meant , topography is all determining here).

    • Denny Sinnoh says

      Kurt Vonnegut: “All I did when I was a teenager was masturbate and build model airplanes”.

  25. I’d like to ask a serious question and I’d like a serious, informed answer. Let’s say everyone in the world all of a sudden agreed to do what it takes to reduce humanity’s impact on the climate to the extent necessary to either stop global warming or reduce it to levels generally acceptable. My question is, “What would everyday human life be like?” No cars, trucks or buses? If they were all electric, what fuel would produce the power to recharge the batteries? No air conditioning or refrigeration? Or what? Describe life under the regime that would be sufficient to reduce global warming to acceptable levels or eradicate it altogether. Thank you.

    • the gardner says

      Generation 4 nuclear energy, risk free, reuses spent fuel. Could be the major, limitless energy source. With so much energy we could operate technology to scrub excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and desalinate sea water. Climate alarmists should be embracing this new generation of nuclear energy to solve global warming. So, where are they??

    • Lightning Rose says

      “What would everday human life be like?” Why, we’d have to stay home, shut up, be satisfied with bare subsistence, work to stay warm and grow everything we need to eat, exactly as my great-grandparents’ generation did.


      • Jay Salhi says

        You’d have to go back more generations than your great-grandparents who would have the benefits of oil and coal, just not to the same extent we enjoy them today.

    • Dzoldzaya says

      Heavy investment in renewables, nuclear, reforestation and carbon capture technology could allow us to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by the late 21st century while still living lives of historically unprecedented luxury. This model is scientifically feasible, and could include cars, trucks and buses. Try something like this to see what ‘extreme measures’ would mean: . Note that you can just go for nuclear and that cuts emissions by around half.

      It’s just not politically feasible that ‘everyone in the world suddenly agreed to do what it takes’, because the incentive to free-ride is too strong. And high discount rates mean that these investments might remain unprofitable for a few years to come.

      • Jay Salhi says

        Renewables (wind and solar) are a waste of money that do not materially reduce CO2 emissions nor do they eliminate the need for fossil fuels. Carbon capture technology has a long way to go. Your scenario is essentially a fantasy but more nuclear would be good.

    • Foyle says

      We have economic solutions in hand now. Just need 30 years for normal investment in replacement of capital items reaching end of life to replace old tech with new.

      PV in Idaho is being produced for $0.03/kWh!!! Cheaper than every other form of power excepting legacy hydroelectricity. Battery storage adds about $0.04/kWh per kWh if cycled daily. So PV battery is now cost competitive or outright cheaper in sunny climes (ie >50% of all humans). PV/batteries works for road transport and anywhere grid connected.

      High latitude, off-grid and shipping/airplane need a cheaper/denser energy store for winter/long distance – eventually probably liquid hydrogen or synthesised hydrocarbons, though fossil fuels in meantime. Liquid Hydrogen made with $0.03/kWh PV electricity is nearly cost competitive (~$0.10/kWh when turned back into electricity) with existing natural gas. That is good enough.

      Battery powered cars are expected to be cheapest option in all segments, not just luxury, within 6-8 years (due to production learning curves).

      We don’t need nuclear (not that I am opposed), or any other magic. A totally renewable future is at this point highly likely because it is/has/will become the cheapest option. So if CO2 is indeed the boogeyman it is claimed to be we can afford to stop worrying about it or setting costly laws in place. Renewables are set to dominate for the most compelling reason possible (economics!) without ham-fisted regulation. That should make everyone happy – as it does for me (as a luke-warmer AGW skeptic)

  26. scribblerg says

    If one understands how the catastrophic AGW hysterics finally resorted to changing the temp records to better fit their models, one can then appreciate how debunked the AGW hypothesis is.

    At best, current warming is 1/3 of predicted levels and is zero threat to the ecosystem or humanity – and is likely largely not due to carbon dioxide. I won’t argue this here because “climate change” zealots are immune to reason.

    All you believers, I’m going to ask you one question and I want you to answer it honestly. Do realize C02’s effects on temp are logarithmic, and no matter what model used that after 600ppm, additional C02 doesn’t contribute to warming? And if you didn’t know this basic truth of “climate science”, what else do you “know”? Do you think the polar ice caps are thawing abnormally? That land is sinking? Or that the oceans are becoming acidified? None of which is true, fyi.

    Do yourself a favor if you consider yourself fact based. Switch over to the DuckDuckGo search engine and type in “debunking global warming”. You’ll see a tsunami of real scientists offering massive criticism of this hysteria. For fun, do the same searches in Google and see how they suppress dissent, how all the results are about people debunking the skeptics.

    Then you’ll see how clearly consent on this issue is being “managed”, not arrived at by true, open debate.

  27. The author’s main point – that young climate protesters don’t know what they’re protesting – is made nowhere in the article. He makes the assertion toward the beginning and then repeats it at the end, but nowhere does he offer evidence for it.

    • Arche Lasalles says

      Try a re read. Felix makes a clear case for the inconclusivity of AGW impact on climate change & the necessary expert knowledge required of which young protesters are unlikely to have or consider.

  28. the gardner says

    Here’s the only true thing that can be said about the climate change controversy:

    Both sides have persuasive arguments, but persuasive doesn’t mean true. Few people have the scientific expertise to really evaluate all the science. So amateurs read the science that confirms their bias and reject the science that challenges it. Yet they claim to be sure their view is the right one. The only honest thing an amateur really can be is únsure. I think the young author of this article gets this.

    As for the protesting kids, they are brainwashed.

    • scribblerg says

      Not true. As someone who is numerate and familiar with simulation models, I can evaluate the predictions they make with their models. And, OOPS, all the models fail to predict climate.

      And if the climate industry hadn’t reacted by hacking and biasing the thermometer data, all the IPCC models would already have been debunked by the current actual climate.

      In fact, if one is being scientific, it’s quite easy to debunk the Catastrophic AGW hypothesis based on the failure of their models. I’m under no obligation to offer alternate models, that’s on the folks offering the initial hypotheses.

      In any other field (other than humanities led gender and race studies), the failure of the models published by climatologists, and the failure of any of their dire predictions to come true would be the end of them.

      But in climate “science”? Nah. No matter how wrong their models are, they keep at it. Which makes clear they aren’t doing science.

      • the gardner says

        @scribbleg—- very persuasive and I tend to agree with you. But my PhD is not in climatology, although I have had plenty of chemistry and physics training and know a bit about statistics. So I still don’t consider myself truly competent to dig into all the climate science and decide what is credible or not. I think a little modesty is in order.
        There is a healthy debate going on youtube between alarmists and skeptics. Each side pokes holes in the other’s arguments. Very interesting and a good way to learn how to analyze the data.
        The modeling is, I agree, pretty worthless. Who thinks they can predict anything out 80 years? That is definitely not persuasive.

  29. Sean Leith says

    “It cannot be denied that the world is heating up. And most scientists agree that human activity plays a large part.”

    This is utterly untrue. You need to read something before write.

  30. Craig Willms says

    I’d like to know why the current generation believes they should be left a perfect world. We certainly were not left a perfect world in the 1980’s when I came of age.

  31. Villi John Petersen says

    Felix writes: “My own view is that it is quite possible that global warming is caused by humans; and, if so, we need to do something about it”.
    Why can´t we just enjoy? Some warming is far better for life than cold. Here is some facts all scientist agree on:
    1. The temperature has risen 0,8 degree since 1870 (positive!)
    2. Statisticaly there is not more extreme weather – on the contrary.
    3. There is a sea level rise of about 3 mm a year (25 cm pr. century). Compare that to the tide 4 times in 24 hours: 4-6 m or more.
    4. Theres has been some ice melting at the North Pole and Greenland. But not more than in the periode from 1920-1940 and late 1700th. Its properly cyclic.
    5. CO2 in the atmosphere has risen from 280 ppm – 420 ppm. Thats good for plants, they live on it. The planet has become greener.
    6. The greenhouse effect of CO2 i logarithmic, which means that the highest greenhouse effect is from 0 ppm to 20 ppm – there after its declining. Over 400 ppm its nearly not existing. So a rise to 800 ppm or 1600 ppm nearly does´nt mean a thing on global warming.
    7. CO2 is not poisonous. Its together with oxygen the gas of life. Under 180 ppm in the atmosphere the plants can not grow. In a classroom with 30 persons the air often has 1600 ppm. In a U-boat the upper limit is set to be 7000 ppm.
    8. In 2004 the IPCC predicted that New York and the coastal cities of Europe would be flooted by 2020 and the temperature much higher. The point of no return was 2009 – 2012. So climate models of IPCC have never worked. And they still do not!
    9. There is no tipping point.The climate can not go crazy, there is too many factors and too may feed-backs. If it could it would have done so many times in the billion years. There has been much more CO2 in the atmosphere (several thousand ppm) and more than 10 degrees warmer. The climate did not go crazy. The animals and plants propered. But natural climate has never been stable.
    10. Climate in reality can be seen on plant regions: arctic, tropical, subtropical, etc. Look in an atlas from 1950, they are the same to day! So climate change? No! Enjoy the tiny warming.

  32. Climate is extremely complex and modelling it will probably be beyond our ability for a long time yet, but the Greenhouse Effect is another matter. It was a hypothesis of (good) 19th century physicists that can now be shown to be wrong.

    Just because water vapour, CO2 and other gasses absorb infrared radiation doesn’t mean they trap the energy. Our atmosphere is awash with a photon sea of collision induced IR. This transports heat in all directions but loses it to space. The atmosphere has no lid.

    The magnitude of the GHE depends on the delay in heat transfer from surface to space. This is negligible. At this level the physics is no more than a fairly straightforward undergraduate exercise. For calculations see:
    and a general overview discussing the empirically and theoretically well established alternative to the GHE in:

  33. Cecily says

    But can you really group all young people fighting for change as rash and looking for some mere excitement? Perhaps that’s the case for some but, and please correct me if I’m wrong, unless you posses powers of telepathy you can’t be certain of such ‘facts’. It’s quite possible that many young people have an at least basic understand of climate change (wether through geography lessons or personal studies) and feel passionate enough to want to act.

    Moreover, perhaps the issue that you should be addressing is the lack of ways for young people to have their opinions heard without being regarded as nothing more than impulsive teenagers, hence why many feel the need to act impulsively and angrily. Surely it’s this cycle of dismissal and belittling that needs to be addressed in order to reduce such drastic and possibly thoughtless protests.

    Perhaps this perception of intelligenct and passionate youths is being distorted by the idea of a ‘teenage stereotype’. Afterall weren’t the suffragettes widely viewed as the ‘emotional, passionate and tempestuous’ negative female stereotype? Yet I’m sure we can all agree that they definitely made a worthy point. Although militant action arguably hindered their cause (perhaps not too dissimilar to the consequences of Extinction Rebellion’s bold statements), in hindsight, the lack of political voice and influence that women held meant they had to adopt a ‘deeds not words’ attitude to be heard. The issue with climate change is that their may not be a chance for ‘hindsight’ if we don’t act quickly. Not everyone fully understands the milankovitch cycles, buy you don’t have to be a genius to notice that temperatures are rising.

    • Arche Lasalles says

      So why have age restrictions on driving & drinking?
      Adult women treated as property is hardly the same not to mention oceans of psychological data regarding the limitations & capabilities of teenagers.
      Encouraging generations of simplistic hysterical bias mobs is a much greater threat to the earth.
      in any case get back to us when your teenagers first run your household …

    • Closed Range says

      I think a simple necessary condition for intelligence in a teenager is to recognise that causing damage in protests isn’t really a productive approach. Remember also this set of kids is a but a small fraction of all teenagers around the world who prefer to study and learn something worthwhile so they can become productive citizens. Ergo, it’s pretty clear that this movement isn’t really composed of passionate and intelligent young adults.

  34. Hamish says

    Let’s remember that the first mass extinction was cause by oxygen. The idea that humans can have a lasting catastrophic effect of the planet is hubris in the extreme. Who’s to say large quantities of CO2 is bad for the environment. It may be inconvenient (relatively) for humans in the short term (relatively) but carbon is good for literally all flora that exists. Let’s not forget that at CO2 levels have been as high as 1700 ppm (without humans) in previous periods. And that plant life DIES at 150 ppm. There were periods when the earth was covered in ice and periods when there was none. If anyone claims they know whats going on they are lying, an idiot or both. What we know is a drop, what we don’t is an ocean.

  35. ianl says

    ” Let’s not forget that at CO2 levels have been as high as 1700 ppm (without humans) in previous periods”

    Actually, that’s over 10,000 ppmv in the Cretaceous. Both flora and fauna (including an utterly enormous array of dinosaur species) thrived – until the Chicxulub asteroid clobbered the planet.

  36. The actual science of climate change is being entirely ignored. It’s caused by variation in cloud formation (clouds blocking out the sun) as a result of variation in extra-solar cosmic rays reaching the earth, in turn a consequence of changes in the strength of the sun’s magnetic field, which varies according to several very different periodicities of surface sun activity (sun spots, etc). [Cosmic rays act as nuclei for water molecules to condense out of the atmosphere to make an aerosol.] This is also impacted by the position of the sun in its long trajectory through the Milky Way galaxy (when it passes through a spiral arm of the galaxy, it is much closer to the relatively near super-novae main source of our cosmic rays), and where the earth is in its long orbit around the sun (which changes from elliptical to circular and back again, altering the distance from the sun). The complex interplay of all these cycles (plus a number of slight impacts of the moon and planets) exactly corresponds to all earth temperature data, whether recent, historical, ancient, prehistoric or way back in geological time. This data shows that CO2 rise/fall LAGS temperature change, so cannot be the driver, and contributes in only a small way in slightly compounding any temperature rise in being a non-potent ‘greenhouse gas’ in very low atmospheric concentration. Temperature changes the rate of release of CO2 from the oceans; by far the main reservoir of CO2. The anthropogenic model has zero predictive value and is dead. As we’re now entering a grand solar minimum, with significant temperature falls imminent, data will fully confirm a heliogenic (as opposed to an anthropogenic) model within 10 to 20 years, and the death of global warming alarmism will be incontrovertible.

    • BrainFireBob says

      That’s why they’re urgently whipping things into a frenzy. They need public policy now so they can claim they fixed it and saved us all. Otherwise, they are disgraced

  37. Joel says

    Extraordinarily well written for a teenager. Congratulations.

  38. Fickle Pickle says

    Meanwhile I much prefer the new essay by the well informed adults who live on this planet. Adults who would be very sympathetic with and supportive of the movement initiated by Greta Thurnberg.

    For instance:

    An essay by Tom Engelhardt featured on his truth-telling website Tomdispatch titled Suicide Watch on Planet Earth, and his 2003 essay titled Looting Planet Earth.

    The work of Carolyn Baker via her book and associated website Collapsing Consciously

    An essay by Julia Steinberber on the website titled A Postmortem For Survival: On science Failure and Action on Climate Change.

    An essay titled Caretaking by Helena Norberg-Hodge and the impeccably conservative Wendell Berry on the Orion Magazine website.

    An essay by Paul Kingsnorth titled Axis and the Sycamore which is also featured on the Orion website. And Paul’s Dark Mountain website too.

    • Kencathedrus says

      @Fickle Pickle: I tried reading some of your suggestions. They’re extremely emotive and read like Guardian articles rather than essays. The fact that you think these are essays is worrisome.

    • Jay Salhi says

      Why not just go back a little further in time and read Paul Ehrlich’s population bomb nonsense? Your “adults who live on this planet” are carrying on a time honored tradition of crying wolf and telling us the sky is falling.

      • Foyle says

        Millennialism is a very very old disease in humans, present in every culture, and has been exploited by religious scare profiteers since pre-history. The dogma and priestly vestments have changed with AGW, but the religious passion and hatred for heresy remains. For the devout it is a war to upend established orders and place themselves at the top, and naive youth are their foot-soldiers (their genes sensibly tell them that backing revolution is a potential high payoff route to the top of the social order).

  39. DrZ says

    Production of electricity by nuclear fission. If, a doubtful if, we are going to hell in a hand basket as the greens claim if we do not curb CO2, then go nuclear generation which has killed zero people in the U.S. Compare this to the billions who will die if we don’t do something according to the greens.

    • Jackson Howard says

      Nuclear should really be on the table for electricity generation. So far there is only one proven case of electric sector achieving decarbonation : France.

      Denmark & Germany with all their efforts did not make much of a dent into their emissions. In fact Germany just managed to replace their retired nuclear PP capacity with all the Energiewende renewables, aka zero CO2 emissions reductions.

      Funny thing is that in Denmark the government has been sued (and lost) for failing to meet it’s own emission reduction targets.

      It’s not that renewables are useless. It’s just that the low energy density coupled to low capacity factor implies mind boggling amounts of them. A country like the UK would have to get literally covered in them as shown by the late David Mc Kay.

      • Closed Range says


        I’m glad someone here remembers David McKay – he was one of the rare people who had a practical mindset about solving the problem.

        In case others are wondering, David McKay wrote a very no-nonsense book about the matter Sustainable energy without the hot air – if I remember the basic point of the book, it was that most renewables would not be well suited to the UK, except for off-shore tide power.

        I think the UK will have to follow France in expanding it’s nuclear sector. According to the OECD data, France does have lower CO2 emissions per capita than the UK, but not massively so (so on the positive side, the UK would likely be able to do better). The main blocking point I think seems to be that nuclear is severely disliked by short-termist politicians because it has a huge upfront cost, which makes their budget look bad on the short-term they are elected for.

        • Jackson Howard says

          “Renewables without the hot air” is a very good no-nonsense pro-arithmetic book. A must read IMO.

          For the UK the conclusion was that nukes plus loads of renewables (esp offshore) can work.

          France emissions per capita are indeed not much lower than the UK. However as far as clean electricity generation goes no one beats the French.

          The problem is that about 50% of France primary energy is from oil for heating/transport (like most developed coutries). This swamps the low emission from nukes.

      • Jay Salhi says

        “It’s not that renewables are useless. It’s just that the low energy density coupled to low capacity factor implies mind boggling amounts of them.”

        Which is another way of saying they are useless. And you didn’t even mention intermittency,

        • E. Olson says

          Good comments throughout Jay – too bad you didn’t jump into the discussion earlier. One further point that I just heard from a big shot in the Norwegian government discussing the Green New Deal. He said the problems of intermittency were being solved by expansion of grid connections, so that if it wasn’t windy in Germany they could just import wind generated power from Spain where the wind was blowing. I guess we could also set up grid connections between the northern and southern hemisphere because solar panels somewhere would always free from snow and ice. Just crazy the people in charge of tax money can be so stupid about economics and the physics of energy.

  40. K. Dershem says

    The moral of this comment section: do not engage in debate with climate deniers. It’s absolutely pointless, like trying to convince a creationist that evolution is real or an anti-vaxxer that vaccines don’t cause autism. They occupy an alternate reality in which tens of thousands of experts are engaged in a massive conspiracy to create a socialist dystopia. Somehow, the conspirators are clever enough to convince every major scientific body in the world that that they’re correct, along with the vast majority of national governments and multinational corporations — but their lies are so transparent that amateurs on the Internet can easily see through them. Ironically, the deniers are serving as useful idiots for an actual conspiracy, the decades-long efforts of fossil fuel companies to manufacture doubt about the reality of climate change. Future generations will rightfully despise us for failure to act.

    • Arche Lasalles says

      The moral for alarmists is that science is not a democracy. ‘Consensus’ is a political/social concept not a scientific one. Galileo, Darwin & Einstein etc were not part of a consensus in their time.
      The might of big business doesn’t hold a candle to socialist politicisation.

    • Villi John Petersen says

      Here are some facts – not oppinions – that most climate scientist agree on – or do you prefer being a “climate denier” yourself?
      1. The temperature has risen 0,8 degree since 1870 (positive!)
      2. Statisticaly there is not more extreme weather – on the contrary.
      3. There is a sea level rise of about 3 mm a year (25 cm pr. century). Compare that to the tide 4 times in 24 hours: 4-6 m or more.
      4. Theres has been some ice melting at the North Pole and Greenland. But not more than in the periode from 1920-1940 and late 1700th. Its properly cyclic.
      5. CO2 in the atmosphere has risen from 280 ppm – 420 ppm. Thats good for plants, they live on it. The planet has become greener.
      6. The greenhouse effect of CO2 i logarithmic, which means that the highest greenhouse effect comes from 0 ppm to 20 ppm – there after its declining. Over 400 ppm its nearly not existing. So a rise to 800 ppm or 1600 ppm nearly does´nt mean a thing on global warming.
      7. CO2 is not poisonous. Its together with oxygen the gas of life. Under 180 ppm in the atmosphere the plants can not grow. In a classroom with 30 persons the air often has 1600 ppm. In a U-boat the upper limit is set to be 7000 ppm.
      8. In 2004 the IPCC predicted that New York and the coastal cities of Europe would be flooted by 2020 and the temperature much higher. The point of no return was 2009 – 2012. So climate models of IPCC have never worked. And they still do not!
      9. There is no tipping point.The climate can not go crazy, there is too many factors and too many feed-backs. If it could it would have done so many times in the last billion years. There has been much more CO2 in the atmosphere (several thousand ppm) and more than 10 degrees warmer. The climate did not go crazy. The animals and plants thrived. But natural climate has never been stable.
      10. Climate in reality can be seen on plant regions: arctic, tropical, subtropical, etc. Look in an atlas from 1950, they are the same as to day!
      So climate change? No! Enjoy the tiny warming.

    • Cordycepting the Youth says

      Imagine a philosopher professor who uses loaded language like “climate denier,” and then urges that people ought not engage in debate with the aforementioned “deniers” because they are delusional, irrational, and their side of the debate is solely built out of a rival explanation that is a conspiracy theory. What an absolute narrow minded account of what is happening. This is a debate that has been pulled out into the public by the norms of politics. That makes its prescriptive and descriptive content up for grabs. That means anomalous facts, problems with model construction/selection, problems with the statistical or mechanical explanations, problems with the policy responses, and various other aspects. Those things are neither conspiracy theory nor irrational. You couldn’t get a better microcosm of contemporary liberalism and leftism than treating this discussion as a one-way pulpit monologue.


      K. Dershem, you’ve said before you teach philosophy, but you honestly shouldn’t have a job. You are part of the problem. It’s amazing to me that you come here on Quillette, say you are against the extreme part of the left, but time-and-time again act exactly in the same authoritarian smug manner as them. You are one of the most self-unaware people I’ve seen online, and lack any sort of self-reflective virtue that one might expect from a philosopher.

      • K. Dershem says

        “Climate denier” is not “loaded language,” it’s an accurate description of people who deny well-established science for ideological reasons. I lack the expertise to properly evaluate the details of climate models; I suspect you do as well. The vast majority of people who possess that expertise (i.e., scientists) have been debating the models, “anomalous facts,” etc. for decades and have arrived at a consensus on the basis of overwhelming evidence. There’s no other explanation for the virtual unanimity of views than a vast conspiracy involving thousands of scientists around the world who have diverse perspectives, political views, etc. The claim that such a conspiracy exists is deeply implausible; to the contrary, it’s been proven that fossil fuel companies have funded “contrarians” to create doubt and obstruct action.

        I “teach the controversy” when legitimate controversies exist (e.g., the abortion debate). When discussing creationism and climate denial, I don’t present both sides as viable science-based positions — because they aren’t. If I taught history I wouldn’t give equal time to Holocaust deniers either. My comments are admittedly more strident on climate change than on other topics, because (1) the facts are clear to anyone who approaches the issue honestly (unlike Villi above, who makes demonstrably false claims like “In 2004 the IPCC predicted that New York and the coastal cities of Europe would be flooted [sic] by 2020”) and (2) this issue actually matters for the future of humanity, in contrast to the culture-war articles which are Quillette’s main focus.

        Fortunately I have tenure, so the opinion of an anonymous Internet commenter won’t affect my job security. You may think I’m “authoritarian” and “smug,” but my students have a very different opinion (based on anonymous evaluations).

        • Jim Gorman says

          By its very nature science requires scepticism. Without it, old theories wouldn’t be disproved and new ideas wouldn’t be accepted.

          Most scepticism arises because of CAGW without any, and I emphasize any, real world evidence of what the models predict. Look at the number of scientists who claim that the GCM’s produce actual data and real world projections. Twenty years of annual model projections have failed to come true. Yet somehow we are to believe that this years model runs are going to be the accurate ones and we should believe them. Heck, scientists are still arguing about the value of feedback that CO2 introduces.

          Tell us where the scientific papers are that recommend experiments that can prove that CO2 is the control knob. I understand it would be expensive and require large expensive structures. Yet I know of no scientist who has developed and proposed one. Why?

          We have entered post-modern science where computer modelers make virtual science with never going out into the field. Tell us about weather stations that sit beside jet runways, air conditioners, and asphalt. There are numerous problems in the field yet no one wants to work on them. Tell us why we need more that one thermometer to indicate if the globe is warming or not. I mean, if the globe is warming, won’t one thermometer show it?

          We just recently learned that some or all of the Antarctic ice melting is due to underwater volcanoes. How many years have been spent saying it was global air temps that was causing it?

        • dirk says

          I wonder why here (but everywhere in the media) everybody talks all the time about scientists as the main perpetrators or culprits in the climate debate. Scientists measure physical or chemical processes, come with possible explications, may express probabilities ( of 1%, 5%, 50%) on this or that outcome, calculate certain models trhough, improve those models, travel to Antarctica and take samples of this or that. What they never can (or must) say, is, what we should do or not do, or which policy (costings) we should follow. Sometimes they do nevertheless, but then they perform on another floor, the none-science floor, in their role as citizens or concerned souls.

          Please leave those scientists alone, they only can wash their hands.

          No scientist is a climate denier or climate sceptic, that’s a completely different category of people.

        • S Snell says

          @ K Dershem

          “Denier,” as in wink wink, Holocaust Denier is not loaded language? You cannot possibly be serious.

          Funny thing, “denier” is what they used to call heretics.

          Speaking of correlation, use of this inflammatory, intentionally insulting term with its religious connotations correlates strongly with zealotry.

          So unless you really are a zealot and comfortable in that role, perhaps you should not use a term that is, in fact, very much loaded.

          • K. Dershem says

            Author David Brin has provided a useful discussion of the difference between skeptics and deniers. He concludes,

            *[W]hile the species of sincere, conservative-but-rational AGW Skeptics does exist (I know several, and kind-of qualify as one, myself), they turn out to be rare. For the most part, those calling themselves “climate skeptics” are nothing but fully-imbibed Denialists, who wallow in anecdotes and faux-partyline talking points, participating in something that is far more insidious and devastating to our civilization than mere Energy Company Propaganda.

            As I have suggested elsewhere, the real purpose of it all may be to undermine the very notion of expertise in our civilization, leaving no strong force to challenge any ruling elite. But whatever the underlying purpose, one result is clear: Tens of thousands of Denialists egotistically assume that their fact-poor, pre-spun, group-rage opinion entitles them to howl “corrupt fools!” at the men and women who have actually studied and are confronting this important topic.*


        • gda53 says

          You have students? Tenure?

          My God, what they’ve warned us about for 60 years has indeed come true.

          Glad I have no children that will fall within your possible realm of influence. Your ideology/religion truly represents a dark, warped, dead-end alley on our journey to enlightenment.

    • Lightning Rose says

      So, K. Dersham, I assume you live in an unheated cabin, move about with animal drawn carts, grow your own vegetables and are getting online with the aid of a treadmill-or-solar-powered battery for your laptop or phone? What do you do for a living, skin goats?

      The problem I have with CAGW “true believers” is they don’t live their beliefs. Which elicits a strong suspicion both the believers and the beliefs are FAKE.

      • K. Dershem says

        I do try to minimize my carbon footprint, but individual changes are not sufficient given the scope of the problem. I support a incremental, revenue neutral carbon tax.

        • Jay Salhi says

          A tax will not magically invent affordable alternatives to fossil fuels that work at scale. Europeans tax fossil fuels much more heavily than the US. It hasn’t brought them any closer to carbon free energy alternatives.

          A carbon tax is also highly regressive. But who cares about energy poverty? Certainly not the woke Europeans. And not Michael Mann who tells us energy poverty is fake news.

    • S Snell says

      @ KD

      Your comments on this issue display the absolute certainty, tinged with moral censure, that is typical of AGW zealots. Furthermore you seriously misrepresent the stance of most skeptics, not “deniers,” as you pointedly call them. To find that you are a professor, yet maintain this very rigid, orthodox stance is quite disappointing.

      Thought you oughtta know.

      • K. Dershem says

        Science never provides “absolute certainty.” We’re often forced to make decisions on the basis of incomplete evidence. In the case of climate change, the evidence is overwhelming, in spite of the ideologically-driven efforts of deniers (not skeptics) to manufacture doubt. I’m convinced that this is the most urgent issue facing humanity, so I’ll make no apologies for taking a strong moral stance. As with “Cordy” above, you may be surprised to learn that I give exactly zero shits about what an anonymous Internet commenter thinks about me. But thanks for sharing.

        • Jay Salhi says

          “I’m convinced that this is the most urgent issue facing humanity, so I’ll make no apologies for taking a strong moral stance.”

          Even if the worst fears of the AGW catastrophists are 100% accurate, we are still left with a problem with no solution. Taking a moral stand against an incurable disease is rather pointless. It only leads to hysteria and bad solutions that are counterproductive. Hence, the morally outraged activists stridently oppose the best available energy sources for reducing CO2 emissions – natural gas, nuclear and hydro.

          Climate alarmism has nothing to do with morality (defined as promoting human flourishing) and everything to do with moral panic. People who promote moral panic rarely have the interests of humanity at heart. To the contrary, they tend to be anti-human. This is certainly true of the hard core green activists. Unfortunately, they’ve convinced a lot of well-meaning people to join them.

    • Jay Salhi says

      K. Dershem’s approach to climate change at Quillette:

      Conflate AGW with catastrophic AGW.
      Pretend that there is a near universal consensus in favor of catastrophic AGW.
      Smear anyone who questions any aspect of catastrophic AGW as a denier.
      Declare that engaging with deniers is a complete waste of time.
      Ignore your own advice and repeat all of the above by commenting heavily the next time a climate change article appears at Quillette.

    • Jay Salhi says

      @K. Dershem

      “Ironically, the deniers are serving as useful idiots for an actual conspiracy, the decades-long efforts of fossil fuel companies to manufacture doubt about the reality of climate change.”

      Do you have any evidence of this conspiracy? The oil companies are hardly concerned about countering the AGW narrative. Indeed, they generally go with the flow and embrace it (or at least pay lip service to it). They do not aggressively challenge it.

      If you want to count dollars, the skeptics are completely outgunned by the activists and the funding disparity is not remotely close. The governments of the world who provide most research funding, the UN, the environmental organizations are all solidly pro-AGW. So is the mainstream media.

  41. Eric Liskey says

    Good piece. I would say that this bright young man has a great future to look forward to, but after writing this, he’s probably been blacklisted by most universities !

  42. What better sequel to the Zizek-Peterson debate than Kirby v. Thunberg
    ( Parental guidance advised for rhetorical violence and risque’ scenes of vulgarisation scientifique)

  43. Peter from Oz says

    WHen I hear the word ”evidence” the first profession I think about is not ”scientist”
    We lawyers are actually far better trained in evaluating evidence. It is the care of our profession. That’s why I think we need a Royal Commission on AGW, chaired by a judge and assisted by some top flight QCs.
    SOmeone who actually knows about causation from a profession with very complex rules about evaluating evidence needs to review the the claims of the scientists.
    Remeber in a court case scientists are at best expert witnesses, but not actual deciders of facts. On many occasions I have seen a good barrister take apart scientits on the witness stand.

    • K. Dershem says

      We could solve all of the world’s problems by sending everyone to law school! 41% of representatives in the U.S. Congress are lawyers — no wonder America is governed with such wisdom and attention to evidence! Too bad those scientists are always butting with their irrelevant claims to “knowledge” and “expertise.” Charlatans, one and all.

    • Hans Meier says

      Thank you, but lawyers is not what we need more of, no. Lawyers have no clue of anything, they oftentimes dont even understand the conseuqences of some oftheir laws. So, no. Not more lawyers. More scientists please. They are smart. Lawyers arent.

      • Peter from Oz says

        Completely missed the point, Hans.
        In just about every country I know about it is much more difficult to get in a law course at university than it is to get into a science course.
        So scientists are in fact less smart as a whole. As I said I have watched QCs learn the science behind a case in a few days and in court correct a scientist with years of experience.
        But it is really a question of the proper qualification to evaluate evidence. That is what lawyers are trained to do. The rules are very complex and very difficult for the layman to understand, but they are also the best way we have of arriving at the facts.

        • @Peter from Oz

          There are good and bad scientists as I am sure there are good and bad lawyers, all people have good and bad days and on occasion everyone makes mistakes. It is not at all surprising that those trained for years to operate effectively in a court environment and who have subsequently built up years of professional experince in exactly that environment can on occasion get the better of a scientist in court. That does not make lawyers as a class smarter than scientists as a class nor would I assume the reverse. What it does say is someone trained, skilled and experienced in a paticular domain is likely to have an advantage over someone who is not.

          Taking isolated examples of scientists being bested in court by a QC as evidence that lawyers are smarter than scientists is actually an example of a very poor evaluation of evidence. It is not even evidence that that specific lawyer is smarter than that specific scientist. It is not even clear we have a good understanding of what smart is or that it is possible to order people by smartness. Are you a lawyer? If you are should I use this isolated case to argue that you and lawyers in general are always poor at evaluating evdence? Or should I use it to argue all Australians are poor at evaluating evidence?

        • mitchellporter says

          @Peter from Oz

          When you say a barrister with a few days’ study, can “correct a scientist with years of experience”, what exactly are you talking about? How many times have you seen this happen? What kind of science was it, what kind of correction?

        • Hans Meier says

          Your claims are simply ridiculous. And false. And no, I miss no point. Nobody needs more lawyers. Really noone. Thanks.

        • Hans Meier says

          Oh, and Peter: please stop bragging about how smart you are and how you are soo good at learning science in a few days blablabla. It just proves my point: Lawyers are half as smart as they think they are. People who have to say how smart they are, are in fact most of the time the pure opposite anyway. So please, spare me. You make a fool of yourself, „Mr I learn supercomplicated science in a few days because I am a smart lawyer“.

  44. Hans Meier says

    I still rather prefer seeing teenager skipping school and protesting for the sake of humanity than seeing them hangig around, littering the parks, vandalising public space or attacking other people. But they should of course also protest during their free time if they truely care. Otherwise its just another hypocritical movement.
    Regarding climate change: I think it does not make any sense to keep pointing out that only correlation is proven but no causality. First: in model experiments, causality has already been proven scientifically. Secondly, we cannot waste time and wait until it is proven on an earth scale, because it could be too late by then. Its enough to observe the huge scale of waste, pollution, destruction, littering, deforestation, desert building, etc. that human kind is creating to understand that we are massively affecting our planet negatively and that it is high time to start doing something against it! I am not willing to wait just for the final prove to then realise: oh, folks, now we know for sure but its too late, sorry. Anyway, as long as the athmosphere is not destroyed, I dont care if human kind extincts itself. Esrth will recover afterwards but it will most likely take millions of years to do so.

    • Closed Range says

      Hans –

      “hangig around, littering the parks, vandalising public space or attacking other people.”

      In the case of the London protests, that is basically what this crowd did. The protest wasn’t exactly a quiet peaceful tea party. This is the problem – they give a bad name to any attempt to talk about the issue of GW. They close people’s minds to the problem, as they associate climate change with vandals.

      • Hans Meier says

        Well I dont associate climate change with vandals. I associate climate change with overconsumption, overpopulation, selfinterested politicians, selfinterested people in general (I am guilty of that either) and the classical tragedy of the commons problem. If the protesters behave like vandals, they should be held liable for that, of course. They can ask supersmart Peter from Oz here if they want him as a defender. As he is so smart that only Trump can compete with his big stable genius mind, they certainly would profit from such a biggly brain.

  45. Softclocks says

    To my understanding this article, like most criticism levelled at the children protesting climate change, argues that they do not understand the “nuance” behind the issue.

    This betrays a lack of insight not only into the case at hand, but also the children protesting. Their protest is an expression of fear, and futility. They feel powerless and with good reason.

    Contemporary parents are woefully inadequate when it comes to passing on virtues like moderation and prudence. These teens have been raised in the very heart of consumption, and upon realizing the imminent ecological consequence of their upbringing and lifestyle, they protest.

    Only to be met with smug criticism from the very people who put them in said predicament. And somehow this criticism and the teenagers hypocrisy exonerates these impotent adults from their responsibilities.

    • ianl says

      ” … upon realizing the imminent ecological consequence of their upbringing and lifestyle”

      Nope. Upon being propagandised into believing imminent etc…

      For most of the hysterical commenters here: you are scientifically illiterate and mathematically innumerate. If some proposition is put to you in ‘sciency’ language, you cannot tell if it’s speculation or fact. And you don’t care that you cannot tell.

      So we see time and again screechy assertions completely devoid of rational, evidential logic. Using naive children in the fashion we have been shown is destructive cynicism of the most indifferent kind.

      • Softclocks says

        A comment completely void of any substantial proof, just like any other assertion made by climate denialists.

        My comment was criticism aimed at the lazy authors of low-hanging-fruit articles that harangue the politically active youth. It was not an argument for the existence of manmade climate change or the connection between it and rampant consumption. I am long past arguing with people who reject these truths.

    • Jay Salhi says

      “These teens have been raised in the very heart of consumption, and upon realizing the imminent ecological consequence of their upbringing and lifestyle, they protest.”

      If every government around the world were to cave to the demands of the protesters, the consequences for humanity would be far more dire and much imminent than any damage climate change might bring. The kids and adults alike are a bunch of spoiled brats who lack any understanding of the relationship between energy and prosperity. The activists are literally demanding actions that would bring about immediate widespread suffering and misery. The kids have the excuse of being young, the so-called adults have no excuse. There are very few adults in the climate conversation.

  46. Jackson Howard says

    That is very well put.

    In Switzerland this attitude by the conservatives caused a lot of backlash and bad publicity. In Zürich it is likely that the climate protest and the smugness of the conservatives about it was the cause of the conservatives getting bitch slapped in the polls.

    This occurred against a backdrop of conservatives killing the law on CO2 and droughts in the Alps last year. One of the conservative party is digging in and mocking protesters while the other is trying to pivot on the issue (but it’s looking like a last minute greenwash despite our efforts, given that national elections are getting dangerously close and that we have no prior credible track record on the subject).

  47. Jay Salhi says

    “Teenager Climate Change protesters have no idea what they are protesting.”

    Neither do most adult protesters.

  48. Paul Crossley says

    You don’t need a degree in climate science to protest climate change just like you don’t need a degree in politics to vote or a brain cell to be a libertarian.

  49. James says

    Two of the main problems with the climate debate are 1) assuming that a changing climate is unusual and 2) not understanding the difference between environmentalism and climate hysterics.

  50. scribblerg says

    Also, anyone focused on “sustainable” and affordable energy should drop solar and wind and biomass and run towards nuclear fusion reactors. They are quite real and will be here soon. Waste is not a problem and they are incredibly powerful sources of energy.

    If you promote wind/solar/biomass as actually viable alternatives you are living in a fantasyworld. And if so, I ‘m perfectly reasonable if I simply ignore you and reject you as silly.

    Get that, all you eco-poseurs.

    • Jackson Howard says

      Fusion reactors are far from being anywhere near commercialization. Breakeven has not even been demonstrated yet (highest Q is 0.67 with JET). Plasma instabilities are still a major headache and so is confinement times.

      Then there is the whole Tritium breeding issue and managing to transform neutrons into electric current without having too much of activation waste nor damage to the reactor itself from radiation induced defect.

      If we get a demonstrator producing electric power in 2040 I would call it fast.

      Wind, Solar and conventional nuclear do work and have been used at industrial scale. Fast neutron fission at least as been demonstrated, like with the French sodium cooled Pu breeder reactors.

  51. Daniel says

    The main argument of the article seems to be that the teenagers lack the expertise to understand something as vastly complex as climate change. It suggests that as it’s so complex conclusions about it ought to be handed by experts that can understand the data.

    Yet it then goes one to forward an opinion held only by non experts in climate, like geologists who just happened to previously work in oil exploration, that there is doubt about the role of humans in causing the issue. There isn’t. The science is certain on the topic.

    So absolutely everyone here denying the human role, author of the article included, is operating on the same level as the teens and engaging with it in the same way.

    I get it. There is 100 trillion dollars worth of oil in the ground. Companies have massive loans against that oil. If we stop using it for fuel that 100 trillion dollars is going to continue to devalue and the loans are going to end up being worth more than the oil they were loaned to extract.

    And of course with the American, Russian, and Saudi Arabian economies being so tightly tied to oil it’s to be expected they wouldn’t want to action climate change. When they are opposing initiatives to fight it it’s not because those three counties so highly value truth that they don’t want to move without knowing the full picture. The fact that those same nations are preparing for the effects of climate change should show their hypocricy but I’m sure any argument will fall on deaf ears.

    Because that’s politics. Until right wing leaders tell people climate change is a threat the right won’t ever support it. Let’s just hope Mexicans, Muslims and liberals stop being the threats of the day before it’s too late to do something about climate change.

    • K. Dershem says

      Excellent comment, Daniel. Follow the money.

      • Jay Salhi says

        It is silly argument that ignores the reason for the demand for the oil in the first place.

  52. Truthseeker says

    Anyone who uses the term “greenhouse gas” either does not know how a greenhouse actually works or does not know what a gas is. Climate alarmism is based on a fundamentally false premise, but it is a wonderful protest subject because the assertions sound scary and cannot be easily falsified.

    • Anonymous says

      The greenhouse effect is actually a proven scientific phenomenon.

      What is not proven is a)
      the connection between measured average global temperatures over time and the quantity of greenhouse gases.
      b) which greenhouse gases are having which effect
      c) how much effect on these temperatures relates to human-caused versus natural greenhouse gases.
      d) the quantity of temperature change related to greenhouse gases in general ( as opposed to other causes, such as the position of the sun, etc. )

      • Truthseeker says

        Anonymous – The greenhouse effect is not a proven scientific phenomenon. Greenhouses work by blocking convection, not by blocking radiation. No free flowing gas blocks convection and so no gas acts like a greenhouse. The radiative properties of gases are irrelevant at pressures greater than 100Mb. If you take the average temperatures of the atmosphere of Venus at pressures between 1000 Mb and 100Mb and compare them to the Standard Atmosphere measurements from Earth for the same range of pressures and compare them at each 100Mb band, you will see that the ratio of those average temperatures are a constant and precise ratio that is entirely explained by the differences in the distance to the Sun for each planet. That is Venus with 98% CO2 versus Earth with 0.04% CO2.

        There is also the work of Nikolas and Zeller that use the other planetary bodies in the solar system that have atmospheres to show that it is air pressure and the distance from the Sun that dictates ambient temperatures. Any radiative properties that gasses show in a laboratory are provably irrelevant when examined in the real universe.

  53. Anonymous says

    “It cannot be denied that the world is heating up. And most scientists agree that human activity plays a large part.”

    Actually, Felix – these are not scientific statements. You are going to need a lot more precision in order to talk about stuff like this. Also, you are going to need some evidence to try to prove your second statement.

    You are in high school – better pay more attention to things like “scientific method” in your science classes.

    • Jackson Howard says

      Well, dear Anonymous. If one do a climate science literature review those two assertions have been shown to be correct :

      1) World is heating up. As in global average temperature is going up => true.
      2) We are doing it by turning the CO2 knob. => true. CO2 is rising, it’s from fossil fuels (isotopic fingerprint). No, it’s not the sun the clouds, the orbit nor the cosmic rays.

      Sun contributions, as well as orbital forcings and other stuff have been considered and excluded as drivers to the observed changes.

      The burden of proof is on the people disputing the science, especially 1) & 2).
      It easy really, get a grant, do the science and publish. Get a prize if you upset the consensus.
      But that’s something that has not happened in 30 years of climate science opposition. Because most opposition is done as OPed’s and blog posts and not in actual science journals. Which is an other way of saying that its rubbish and nonsense. Like the antivax pseudo science and other such things.

      Are there uncertainties ? Sure. Are there big questions about climate sensitivity and carbon budgets ? Definitely. Is climate mitigation/adaptation a big policy debate ?

      Maybe, if we conservatives show up for it. As it stands the climate policy will be done by the left because we are sitting in a corned spouting nonsense.

      A real shame because until the 80’s the conservatives were really solid on the environment. National parks and all.

      • K. Dershem says

        The GOP is the only major political party (liberal or conservative) in the world that denies climate change. The issue has become politicized in the U.S. and is now part of the “culture war.” This is deeply unfortunate, because conservative (market-based) solutions to the problem, like a revenue-neutral carbon tax, seem the most promising from my perspective. Sane liberals need to rescue the left from regressive SJWs; same conservatives need to do the same for the right from climate deniers. In both cases, however, I fear we’re too late — echo chambers will continue to magnify the madness on both sides of the spectrum.

        • Jay Salhi says

          And yet the US has a better track record at reducing CO2 emissions than the enlightened Europeans. It makes no difference whatsoever what the GOP or any other political party thinks. There is no solution to AGW with current technology. We are stuck with fossil fuels until that changes. The sanest short term policy (which would be only a partial solution) would be more nuclear and more natural gas. It would be much easier to get the Republicans on board with such a policy than the Democrats.

        • Jay Salhi says

          ” Sane liberals need to rescue the left from regressive SJWs; same conservatives need to do the same for the right from climate deniers.”

          Conservative governments do indeed have a sanity problem but the problem is not the one you imagine, it is that they are taking the green nut jobs seriously resulting in bad energy policies that harm citizens without reducing CO2 emissions. Great Britain’s fracking czar, a former Labour MP, just resigned in frustration because the Tory government is listening to environmental activists like the Extinction Rebellion and preventing Britain from exploiting its natural gas resources. This results in higher energy prices and higher CO2 emissions. And less revenue for the government to spend on things like education and healthcare.

          “‘I was really excited to be part of a vision for the future, that would help restore Britain’s reputation as a creative, forward-looking country which took both emissions targets and prosperity seriously.

          ‘But for reasons I cannot fathom, the Government’s approach is not leadership, but paralysis.’”

  54. Andrew says

    Great effort for a teenager. Could be improved by leaving out personal opinions on the scientific literature about climate change when the author is not in a position to be familiar with it.

  55. neoteny says


    blockquote>There is 100 trillion dollars worth of oil in the ground.



    At what $/barrel was this ‘calculation’ made?

    If we stop using it for fuel

    Don’t worry, we’ll not stop using it for fuel until a better and cheaper technology comes around.

    You know what will show the unquestionable success of alternative energies over fossil fuels? When fighter planes will fly on alternatives, not kerosene.

    • Jackson Howard says

      Actually we’ll stop using oil when it’s ERoEI becomes too low (as in lower than alternatives). Energy is the driver of economy, not money. Money is just a claim on future work derived from the future use of energy.

      If there is no energy, the claim on future work can’t be made and the money loses its value.

      TBH it will make sense to extract oil even with ERoEI < 1 for defense stuff like jet fighters, but that would be ruinous for stuff like air transport.

      • neoteny says

        Actually we’ll stop using oil when it’s ERoEI becomes too low (as in lower than alternatives).

        Actually this is exactly the same what I’ve said.

        TBH it will make sense to extract oil even with ERoEI < 1 for defense stuff like jet fighters, but that would be ruinous for stuff like air transport.

        Why will it make sense to extract oil for ‘defense stuff’, but not extract oil for the civilian applications of the exact same technology? Fighter jets transport weapons (mostly rockets); bombers transport bombs; Abrams tanks transport their weapons and the ammo for those weapons. In all cases it is about transportation of people or things (goods).

  56. Lightning Rose says

    Don’t you understand? We’re supposed to dutifully moo and baa around Our Betters’ Feedlot, happily accepting their judgments on our welfare, until they call our ear tag number on the day we get “recycled.” Or is that composted, now? Hard to keep up . . .

  57. Geary Johansen says

    Fundamentally, man-made climate change can be divided into two distinct domains for human improvement- the first based on emissions and the second on conservation or carbon sequestration.

    In the first domain, there is almost universally cause for cautious optimism. Now that many governments have really reached the limits of what is feasible from a solar and wind prospective, they need to look at hydro wherever possible and nuclear where it’s not. There is even a project ongoing to use graphene cables to exploit geothermal energy. In the meantime, gas represents a far more carbon efficient means of producing energy than coal.

    But it’s not just energy. EV’s really are beginning to take-off both in terms of production scale and demand from consumers. Concrete, or cement production, represents 9% of global CO2 emissions, and a project at UC Berkeley looks like it might be able to produce carbonless concrete in time. Refrigeration, and a movement away from the HFC’s which replaced CFC’s, looks like an economically viable way of reducing the human impact on climate. As more people gain access to electricity in the developing world, that’s fewer cooking with kerosene or carbon-inefficient solid fuels. There are even projects ongoing to lower the carbon cost of airflight- first with hybrids that use superconducting turboelectric systems, becoming more electric as battery technology advances.

    Plus, there seem to be an increasing number of wealthy liberals willing to pay more for carbon sequestering grass-fed beef, with methane-burning power plants from more intensive farming a promising prospect for power generation in the future.

    If you live in climate that is prevailingly hot or cold, then you should lobby your local or national government to include geothermal heat pumps as part of any climate subsidy scheme they currently operate, as with decent cavity wall and loft insulation, it could cut your heating or cooling bill by up to 80%. In the UK, heating accounts for a third of the average citizens personal carbon footprint.

    If you live in a city and don’t mind risk, then an investment in a scooter is a great way of saving money and time on your commute.

    But, on the conservation or natural carbon sequestering side of the equation, governments have been incredibly slow to act, as has the market.

    Higher yields in crops,as well as lower use of nitrates to reduce pollution into coastal nurseries, could conceivably be achieved by developing carbon sequestering biological soil systems which are herbicide resistant and retain less nitrates longer- but we would never know, because the corporations which develop herbicide resistant crops, also sell herbicides and nitrates, either directly or through holding companies. A 14% to 40% increase in crop yields could massively reduce the demand for intensively farmed land, freeing up land for wilding or the value farming of high value, high labour goods to be sold to the worlds growing upper and upper middle classes- whilst providing a source of middle class labour that does doesn’t necessarily require one to be in the top 10% of the cognitive range.

    We know that the its possible to reclaim grasslands lost to desertification, both using the tech-based solution utilised in China and by simulating large predators to encourage herding animals to bunch, but to what extent are either of these solutions being deployed at scale?

    There are at least two solutions to coral depletion that I have found on Youtube, one of which involves splintering the coral to rapidly increase growth, and another which involves sampling coral and developing temperature and pH resistant coral- given that one billion people rely on fish from corals as there primary source of proteins, you would have thought that a tech billionaire would step up to provide the $100 million or so needed to get the scheme up and running.

    But the most worrying development has to be the deforestation of rain forests to produce ever greater quantities of soy and palm oil. Now, I get that most rain forests are located in developing countries that desperately need the economic growth, but surely the UN, the G20 and the market between them can come up with a raft of policies, incentives and investment strategies that can preserve the worlds rain forests, now that the northern hemisphere now has more trees growing on it that a hundred years ago. Of pivotal importance, we need to find ways for countries to make more money by acting as custodians, otherwise nothing will change.

    For a start, governments could redirect a significant portion of their foreign aid budgets to sponsor economic development which utilises rather than displaces rain forests. With commerce conservationalism, think of all that lovely mahogany and teak wood that could be turned into lovely replica antique and high end furniture. Burning it is a such waste. The market could be incentivised by making heirloom furniture tax exempt for inheritance purposes.

    Pharma, complimentary medicines, and skin cream manufacturers could lead the way in finding naturally harvested products from within rain forests. Governments could speed up the process by underwriting up to 70% of the financial risk. The world’s rich now pay a fortune for gold leaf skin treatments, surely they’ll pay for an amazonian tree bark treatment or indonesian forest honey.

    Finally, although I hate market interventions in general, it might be an idea for the UN to set quotas on soy, pulp, paper, plywood and palm oil, based on rain forest conservation and/or reclamation, given that 80% of rain forest depletion in Indonesia is estimated to be from illegal logging and burning operations.

    A few years ago rice commodity prices soared when India acted to secure its rice dole, by warehousing more rice, and China and other rice-producing followed suit. By restricting exports of commodities and products known to be derived from rain forest depletion, and making export quotas and licenses contingent upon how well a particular country preserves or reclaims its rain forests, each country has an incentive to preserve its natural resources in order to gain a greater share of world palm oil, for example. This would also push corporations to invest in higher yield production. The government can provide much needed jobs in the economy, with enforcement and conservation efforts, with the foreign aid and the charitable sector helping to fund a minimal tax regime. Satellite technology could measure how well countries are doing versus what they claim.

    What concerns me most about the global debate on climate change, is with the obvious exception of the Copenhagen Consensus, nobody seems to be developing a subtle and nuanced plan to tackle it as a whole. Worse still, they always seem to frame it as a way to supplant the market with some centrally planned top-down bureaucracy. The market is the most successful, wealth-creating, progress-fuelling system in history. Let’s use it.

    Finally, as a whimsical thought to all those scientists out there, beyond the albedo implications of greening, and a plants cycle of photosynthesis and respiration, is a tree, with its root system, a living thermal heat pump sucking up heat from the air and depositing it in the ground, and has this been built into climate models?

    • Peter says

      What I know: Trees reflect infrared radiation form the Sun and thus make the surrounding area cooler. In BW infrared daylight photos trees (and other vegetation) are white. Trees also cool by evaporation of water they suck from the ground. You can regard that as a bonus or a loss of ground water. (Some water may come back as rain.) But IMHO, they are not heat pumps.

  58. Royce Cooliage says

    @Craig Willms that is quite a foolish thing to say. There are records of temperatures, frequency and intensity of sever storms, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. But clearly none of that matters if you simply choose to believe that scientists are just out to trick us because they are part of some global conspiracy to use climate change to take your guns away and force you to be gay (or whatever it is you believe).

  59. Royce Cooliage says

    @Farris I don’t have to prove it. Scientists have done that for me. I guess you believe the scientists lying? Presumably because being a climate scientist is an easy way to become a billionaire? Or all climate scientists are part of a secret conspiracy to destroy Western civilization? Are you a flat Earther, too?

  60. MrJD says

    The important thing to understand about schoolchildren is that they spend the first 20 years of their lives being conditioned to believe that everything they are told is true and they need to memorize it for the test.

    The idea of disbelieving something that an authority figure tells them is outside their experience.

    • dirk says

      So true JD, I never doubted about anything I learned uptil say 20 yrs of age, not for the exams, but also not beyond. Doubt is a phase that belongs to adulthood. Imagine, a child has to make a choice about the religion he is going to follow, or a political system.I never even doubted the biblical age of Methusalem, and learned even the reasons why these fellows got so old. But it ain’t necessarily so, of course, however, a child that sings a song with these words, I simply don’t trust.

  61. G Arms says

    Global-warming research is a hugely complex field, and it’s unlikely that any ordinary person—let alone a minor—would have any real grasp of it. Great thought. War is an incredible complex subject too, why not dismiss people that protest events like Vietnam when they lack an understanding of all of the nuances and complexities. Let’s not allow regular citizens to outsource testing to the overwhelming consensus (95%+) of NAS scientists that agree it’s an issue, you really need a PhD in a specific field to express your opinion. Let’s also hold off “until we absolutely do know the truth”. Absolute certainty should come around the time we have 10 million or so refugees fleeing from Bangladesh–waiting until then would be more appropriate.

  62. Rene Smit says

    If the climate change panic movement were real about their fear of the future, they would want to put all options on the table and evaluate every technology on it’s merrits.
    Instead, all we get via the media, activists and Left leaning politics is liberal economics is bad, corparations are bad, market forces are ignorant, captalism is evil, past generations are selfish / don’t care / are ignorrant / have done nothing regarding emmisions / pollution / the environment, scientist are above reproach, Left leaning politcians care about you, let us change all aspects of society / industry / economics because if you don’t you’re children / grand children will suffer. I don’t buy this !!!!
    Less people live in poverty, there is less war, less disease, less loss of life due to natural disasters and greater international care and understanding in the world, than ever before in history.
    There are more forests in the northern hemisphere, more ecologists, scientists, education, technology, knowledge, communications, food and resources and self empowerment, than 200 hundred years ago.
    Seems to me what we have is an identity crisis of the elites. That’s why when the population excercises its right to vote them out, it called populism, as if that is something bad. That is what democracy is. It’s also why when the population says to the elites, fix our problems – thats why we voted for you / pay your salary, NOT to fix the world, they call it nationalism, as if that is something bad. We can only fix / make our country better, NOT tell others what to do. That is what personal responsibilty and mutual respect is NOT arrogrance.
    I believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas. There is no evidence of the amplification of the main GHG, water, building in the statisphere as the alarmists predicted. The ionisphere is coldest on record.
    Yes we need cheaper energy, more energy, less polutition, more cohesive societies, more equility of opportunity, less suffering, better health, more natural spaces, cleaner oceans BUT no elitists attitudes have ever produced any of that. Technology has !!!

  63. RebeccaH says

    [It cannot be denied that the world is heating up. ]

    Is it? Is it really?

    • dirk says

      I would think so Rebeccah, in some 50 yrs, no more summer ice on the North Pole. And no more skating in NLs winters (except on artificial ice in the rinks). Alas!

    • Foyle says

      Yes, the world is definitely heating up. 3000 active Argo buoys present a fantastic high-accuracy global measure of earths ocean energy storage. Top 2000m of earth’s oceans are warming at about 0.3°C per century. Which is not a significant problem unless it goes on for many more centuries (sea life copes with bigger excursions + massive sea level changes during ice ages), and also will ultimately limit how fast the atmosphere can warm up.

  64. Pingback: Alarmisternas dröm | Frihetsportalen

  65. Doug F says

    Love seeing a younger person engaging in conversation and exploration rather than ad hominems and parroting a narrative.

    Things we know for sure – the climate is warming, the climate has historically changed a lot, it is likely that humans have some impact on that, no one has any idea how much humans impact climate and every model that has declared the correlation has failed.

    I think that we should be trying to understand the links better, but the science has become so politicized that anyone that suggests anything but doom in 12 years is shouted down.

    I do not think it is wise to dedicate enormous amounts human wealth to solving problems we don’t understand with solutions we don’t know will work. But until the grip that the far left holds on the narrative is broken, I don’t know how we get from here to there.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      But the science isn’t politicized. That’s just a lie people tell because they cannot accept reality. It’s interesting that you’re complaining about the “narrative” while trying to misinform and distort the situation with lies and politics.

      And how does the “far left” control anything here? The US has done next to nothing to deal with global warming. If anything, we’re now moving backwards and using more fossil fuels than ever. The US is the biggest producer of oil in the world. Our eating, driving, and consuming habits are insane. How many hamburgers would you like with your Ford F-250 today? Americans could, generally, care less about the environment. The mainstream media ignores it, and in the 2016 presidential and VP debates there wasn’t a single question about the environment. NOT ONE.

      What world are you living in? If you’re really concerned that any of the solutions that nobody in power is remotely considering are unlikely to work, don’t you worry your empty little head. Nobody is doing shit about the environment in this country.

      • Doug F says

        What did I say that is a lie? Show me the climate model that has worked.

        ~The world will end in 12 years – therefore we need to move to socialism ~ how is that not politicized?

        You don’t want to talk about the science, you want to end the discussion by stating your narrative as truth, throwing insults and moving the discussion to your hate of the US life-style that has nothing to do with the link between human activity and climate (note that the US is not the largest producer of CO2 and has been one of the most successful at CO2 reduction in the last decade).

        It is this type of approach that prevents the honest and fruitful discussions that we need.

  66. Nakatomi Plaza says

    “My own view is that it is quite possible that global warming is caused by humans; and, if so, we need to do something about it. But given the inconclusive state of contemporary climate science, we can’t be sure.”

    You, Felix, are a goddam moron. You’ve also allowed yourself to become a useful idiot to corporate interests that could give two shits about you. GW denialism by a sixteen-year old, Quillette? Pathetic.

    • dirk says

      yes, maybe pathetic, and a visit to a psychologist would maybe help. A teenager revolting against parents and school masters, OK, but against schoolmates and other teeners? And then taking such a none-idealistic, old man’s establishment stance?? Imagine, his class mates reading this? I fear, that would make him a laughing stock. Not good for teenagers!

    • JohannaCastorp says

      “A goddam moron”? How is this a useful or productive comment? Perhaps stick to taking issue with the author’s argument, rather than indulging in personal abuse (and using words which are thoroughly offensive by anyone’s standards).

    • Richard Wakefield says

      Corporations create the wealth that runs society. YOU help that by buying what they sell. You need to have a close look at Venezuela to see how your socialism always fails.

    • gda53 says

      “But the science isn’t politicized.”

      This comment is a joke, right? Otherwise it exposes NT as an utter moron.

      “You, Felix, are a goddam moron.”

      Oh, I think you’ve made it quite clear who’s the moron here.

      Stick to binge watching your favourite movie and avoid commenting on things you are obviously completely clueless about.

      Or is it that your religion has been slighted and you’re lashing out at anyone who questions the scriptures

      Either way………sad, dude.

  67. David Glenn says

    The most climate change damage by one individual has to be the hot air out our next tax payers guest of honour .!The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

  68. Many things to comment on but this is my favorite line: “As a teenager, I fully understand the mindset of young people.”

  69. Richard Wakefield says

    Good piece. One thing that is never considered by the AGW Cultists is that a warmer world is a better would. Warming means more tropics, and shorter less cold winters. Tropical temp are not increasing anywhere on the planet. Hence there is no climate catastrophe coming from a warmer world, quite the opposite since cold kills 20 times more people than hot summer days.

    The other aspect that the AGW Cultists dont want to hear is over the last 450 million years, which is quite recent since it is only the last 10% of earth history, CO2 was 4 to 5 times today. The planet flourished. No global warming catastrophes happened. The fact is today CO2 levels are dangerously low. Our CO2 is greening the planet. Our CO2 is saving the planet from complete extermination of all life from too low CO2.

  70. It’s so good to see that many of the Quillette commentators here are not only smarter and better informed about human caused radical climate change than the nearly unanimous opinion of real climate scientists but are even better informed than almost every scientific organization in the world on this matter.


    • Richard Wakefield says

      The 97% was a lie from the very day it was conceived. It was NEVER a survey of a single climate scientist. John Cook looked ate abstracts and decided what HE thought they supported. It was condemned as a fruad the day it was published. The real number is less than a quarter of climate scientists think the planet is doomed from CO2. And they’re the deluded group.

      There is nothing abnormal happening in the climate. It’s been warmer in the recent past. Warmer is better. Our CO2 is greening the planet.

      • And you know better than NASA, than the Royal Society of the UK, than NOAA, than the National Science Foundation, than the National Center for Atmospheric Research, than the World Meteorological Organization, than the American Geophysical Union, than the National Academy of Science, and on and on and on and on. And on. And on. Oh, but it’s all a hoax.

        In fact, you know better!

        You’re actually the smartest guy not just in the room but surpass tens of thousands of working climate scientists who just don’t know as much as you do, don’t have the keen and correct insight into data that you possess, that you are able to reveal just how gosh darn better warmer is. Nope. You’re smarter than all of them. All.

        Are you comfortable with that level of hubris? Well, obviously you are. What you lack in climate knowledge you more than make up for with ego no matter how unscientific your AGW climate denialism is.

        Wow. I mean, seriously… just… wow.

        • Richard Wakefield says

          Instead of insulting someone, a common tactic of the left when they cant deal with the content of the argument, you should look at the facts.

          1) The planet has warmed in the past, cooled in the past, all on its own in long term cycles.

          2) Previous warmer period were better for all life including humans.

          3) CO2 was much higher in the recent geological past, 4 to 5 times the last 450 million years. We are at dangerously LOW CO2.

          4) Our CO2 is greening the planet.

          5) There is nothing abnormal happening in the climate today.

          6) AGW claims are entirely based on computer models with no basis in reality.

          Not one person in those organizations you cited can dispute the above.

        • Doug F says

          You realize that your position is a perfect example of the logical fallacy “appeal to authority”?

          If you really research the scientific data and studies instead of accepting the non-scientific conclusions by persons with agendas (Al Gore, AOC, I could go on and on) you might see a different story. But you blithely go on using a thoroughly debunked study as the basis for your beliefs.

  71. Global-warming research is a hugely complex field, and it’s unlikely that any ordinary person—let alone a minor—would have any real grasp of it.

    You must be no ordinary teenager, then; you must be special.


    My own view is that it is quite possible that global warming is caused by humans; and, if so, we need to do something about it. But given the inconclusive state of contemporary climate science, we can’t be sure; and, until we absolutely do know the truth, we should hold off on drastic action.

    We might be driving way too fast for these wet road conditions, but until we absolutely know for sure, we should hold off reducing our speed. Good plan.

    Today’s youth have every reason to be deeply concerned about the state of the planet they will inherit. But just as we shouldn’t anoint as leader of the fight to control climate change a 16 year-old with severe mental health issues, we also don’t need to be lectured on our inability to grasp the ‘complexity’ of climate change by another 16 year-old whose expertise is an “interest in the intersection of philosophy and politics.”

  72. MrLogical says

    AGW is an enormous hoax. Nothing more than an elaborate wealth redistribution scheme perpetrated by the NWO globalists. Get a clue. Ockham’s razor. Man’s influence on Earth’s weather and ‘climate’ is trivial at best and completely negligible at worst. Moreover, CO2, despite being labeled by a highly-politicized EPA as a ‘toxic greenhouse gas’ is – in point of fact – a life-giving gas that is essential to all plant and animal life on the planet; i.e., photosynthesis.

    Earth’s ‘climate’ has been in a constane state of evolutionary flux for over 4.6 billion years, and will continue to evolve change based on the rhythms of our sun’s solar engine, and the orbital mechanics of the MiIankovitch cycles until our sun becomes a red giant, triggering the end of our solar system. Most cosmologists estimate that won’t occur for as much as 100B years from now. In any event, there’s nothing that man can do to forestall the inevitable.

    Mankind will evolve and adapt, and probably colonize new worlds in the millennia to come.

    In the meantime, enjoy life as God intended.


    • Lightning Rose says

      Thank you, Mr. Logical. I just bought you a pint in the virtual pub. Cheers!

  73. Lee says

    This website is becoming a parody of itself.

    I think you will find that it is more than a correlation. In the several billions of years of life on Earth it is well established that every time that there has been a rapid change in the atmosphere and/or temperature of the planet there has been a major ecological crisis. Regarding if humans are the cause – it is simply, scientifically undeniable. Also please consider that we are not even the first life form to change the planets atmosphere. Photosynthetic organisms caused the great oxygenation event for example. Or do climate sceptics also deny that? Do they believe that dinosaurs are also a hoax? What about evolution or gravity?

    It is totally bizarre that you say you need to be an expert, thus discounting the view of activists (a side which agrees expert opinion) then give your own opinion as someone without even an undergraduate degree in one relevant science.

    To be a climate sceptic you have to be ignorant of scientific data and principles from several scientific fields. I honestly don’t care about if the activists are annoying people or causing minor disruptions. Maybe some of them are confused or not experts.

    Consensus, proven scientific theory invades every aspect of our life without us even thinking about it. When we eat, travel, use the computer and plan our societies science is used. There is more evidence and data behind climate change than there is for any medicine you can pick up in the pharmacy.

  74. Andy Simo says

    I think throttling back on hydrocarbon use is wise, it’s a finite resource we’ll need for years to come; there are issues about pollution too, so here I also agree with it’s more constrained use. However I remain to be convinced about the severity of AGW as portrayed in catastrophic terms – the IPCC themselves do too, but only the worst case scenario is used as reference.

    I’d also say that the ‘Green’ movement stymied our development of the best viable alternative – nuclear, similar short-sighted knee-jerk reactions have been detrimental to the environment – DRAX wood fuelled power station produces more CO2 than its coal equivalent, Palm-Oil production [with its impact on habitat] went up after the EU directed that 10% of fuel should be bio based. There is little joined-up thinking.

    We should be familiar here about what happens to scientists careers who go against the orthodoxy, so the ‘90% of scientists agree’ needs to be examined; we should also be familiar that ‘the science is settled’ makes no sense as testing theory is at the very heart of the scientific method. It’s also suspicious that radical climate change protagonists only seem to have Socialist/Marxist solutions to the perceived problem…

    Kudos to the author of the article, whether right or wrong, for restoring my faith in the youth and its ability to articulate and author intelligently without getting sucked into group-think.

    Perhaps, like many things, the situation isn’t quite as dire as portrayed and the solutions need more developed thought than emotive reactivity.

    • Lee says

      You should consider the severity with an open mind. If there is even a 1% chance of catastrophe we should try to avoid it. If there was a one % chance an asteroid was going to hit earth and kill billions would we not worry? If people just don’t care and want to enjoy life I can understand. But to criticise the science without specific logic and data is lazy.

      If science is working so poorly then is it not it a little weird that we now understand huge amounts about natural history, evolution, the human genome, weather systems, physics?

      More to be learned? Yes, but until someone finds a new theory that disproves the current extremely solid models of how human activity is causing climate change and what that could mean in the future, perhaps its good to trust science. Just like you would if you were diagnosed with cancer or diabetes.

      Climate change denial is a conspiracy theory akin to the anti-vaccination movement, or AIDs being punishment from God. Completely against scientific logic and data.

      Many people have proposed a number of solutions including free-market capitalist based ones. Regulation is not really socialist neither this is a lazy massive oversimplification. There is no capitalist economy in the world that is not now (or historically) regulated. We all live in mixed-economies; that is – free market capitalism regulated to enhance both political and economic stability. Trying to promote solutions to climate change is actually capitalist because we are trying to innovate, invest and develop. Unless you think all research is socialist because it involves diverting funds from taxation into research programs.

      It is great to see that despite emotional reactions from skeptics – people worldwide are actually understanding we no longer have time to postpone investing in solutions to climate change.

      • Lightning Rose says

        So there is much better than a 1% chance that your car or plane will crash. Does this stop you driving or flying? The Precautionary Principle applied to a “problem” that only exists in cockamamie computer simulations and has been demonstrably disproven by observation is a waste of everyone’s time, money, and mental energy. There’s a much, much better than 1% chance your body is presently harboring malignant “incidentalomas.” You better go start chemo right away, and cut off every body part before it “gets” you, don’t you think?

        Alarmists propose the economic equivalent. You start first–see you in that Garden of Eden.
        Hope you look a lot better than me in a loincloth!

  75. Stephen Haxby says

    “…it is quite possible that global warming is caused by humans; and, if so, we need to do something about it.” Well, up to a point. It may be that the best policy response is to do nothing. Activist scientists and many global warming adherents, think that because science has identified a problem, it is privileged in specifying solutions. Then they cleave to the supra-national, so that voters can’t get at them. But now that is changing.

    • MrLogical says

      Bingo. 100.00%
      Scientific elitists are often far more dangerous and lethal than the risks they postulate, especially when they’re based on potentially flawed discrete simulations.

      Oftentimes, the ‘best’ way to address so-called catastrophic possibilities with extraordinarily small probabilities is to simply watch and observe. The scale and rhythms of the cosmos – and even our own ‘tiny’ solar system and planet – remain beyond the grasp of man’s intellect and, moreover, because of their scale, human remedies are almost entirely ineffective.

      Stop using carbon-based energy sources entirely? Sequester all of the ‘surplus’ CO2 thought to be threatening our existence? Who decides how much CO2 is surplus, or acceptable when the planet has endured large excursions in CO2 concentrations throughout its entire existence? And at what cost… Paid by whom and how… And what opportunity costs are involved… Unintended consequences?

      Conserve carbon-based energy consumption based on the comparative economics of competing, alternative energy sources, not based on the imperfect models of a relative handful of humans largely trapped in the mindset of a single-dimension, single-factor solution set.

      As H.L. Mencken wisely observed: “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

  76. Felix, your post is well written. And you make an important point regarding development of the frontal cortex that adults should be aware of but are not since it pertains broadly to many forms of education and indoctrination in addition to environmentalism, including sexual orientation and religion. I prepared these two articles for a group of laypeople. The first is less technical than the second. You might find them useful. I’ll be happy to answer any questions,

  77. PM says

    Climate change is the binding star that conveniently holds together a solar system of leftist’ goals. Veganism, because methane-farting animals should not be farmed, eaten or hunted. (Ergo, no guns.) Unimpeded Southern-world migration to the Northern world because of failing agriculture. The eventual dilution of the European population to end its ‘white culture dominance’ and replace meritocracy with equality by fiat. The abrupt demise of fossil fuels to disrupt the world’s capitalist economy. Almost any ideological goal can be force-fit into climate change. It’s the perfect way
    to remake the world, ecologically, politically and economically.

  78. James M says

    How many of the people who posted here are actual climate scientists? If you aren’t I’m curious on what basis are you so sure of your personal opinion? I praise this young man for expressing his opinions. However it is his personal opinion and he was honest about it. Therefore he holds no credibilty on the subject in my view.

    If I go get some medical tests done and I get referred to a cancer doctor and she says from the analysis of your tests the results show you have cancer and need treatment right away, chemotherapy etc. If you do not have treatment you will likely die in the next year or maybe the following year but the cancer will kill you. Possibly I may get second opinion from another cancer expert and for sure if they say the same thing again I will accept their diagnosis.

    On the other hand everyone commenting here would think I had a screw loose if I decided instead to ignore the doctors and listened to a non-doctor friend or person on the internet who said in my opinion you don’t have cancer and that they think cancer may not even exist so just keep doing what you are doing and let’s see how things turn out.

    We rely on scientific study and results for so many things yet for some reason we don’t in the case of climate change. Seems really weird to me.

    • JohnWW says

      James M – quite right. I share your sentiments. Too many “experts” peddling views and opinions about which they know very little and are opposite to what the suitably qualified scientists are telling us.

    • John_M says

      James M, your cancer would be for YOU to deal with, NOT the entire Country. It would be a personal thing that would have to be dealt with on a personal level.
      The diagnosis, would be a factual thing, that could be backed up with plenty of evidence.
      You don’t force your own cancer on the entire UK, and affect ALL people’s lives.
      The climate figures are based on prediction and models, these aren’t facts, but based on science – which isn’t always fact-based – a lot of it is still guessing.

      Essentially, we are being FORCED to accept this, and the changes wanted by XR are going to financially ruin millions of people, especially the poor.
      None of us voted for these clowns, none of us asked for Greta to come over here and preach her nonsense, and we certainly didn’t vote for it.

      Speaking of voting. It seems the Greens want to force their policies on everyone, despite only having ONE MP, and the majority of the electorate rejecting the Greens at every election.

      I have worked all my life, and worked my backside off to get a fairly decent level of life. I went through the 80s in poverty, and a single parent. I do NOT want to go back to poverty. I drive because I have to, I cannot expect public transport to take me to every one of my company’s clients, take me back, then bring me home.

      Whats being asked of us is not achievable, it will put millions into debt and poverty.
      I understand the need to do something, but this is too far.

  79. JohnWW says

    Young Felix is 16 years old. Greta Thurnberg Is 16 years old. I wonder why Felix thinks he is more correct, clearer thinking and believable than Greta?

    His comments and opinions show a remarkable immaturity of reason and questioning so I choose to give him a virtual pat on the back and recommend that he continues with his studies and matures a bit before bursting into print again.

  80. JohnWW says

    James M – I share your sentiments.

    I have just got onto this website as a result of the article about it in the SMH. I too value free, open discussion that can be unreasonably constrained by political correctness and other shrill thought police. However, when reading the majority of the comments on this article I conclude that it is dominated by ultra conservative nutters that find The Australian newspaper online platform does not keep them satisfied.

    I think I will give it a miss.

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